A Virgin Atlantic flight to New York was diverted back to London Heathrow after pilots reported seeing a laser beam, BBC reports. This caused one of the pilots to need medical assistance.
The laser beam was reported at 20:13 GMT Sunday night, and the flight was quickly grounded. The plane was carrying 252 passengers.
"The VS025 travelling from London Heathrow to New York JFK flight has returned to Heathrow as a precautionary measure due to a laser beam incident. All customers will be offered overnight accommodation and we will get them on their journey as soon as possible. We are working with the authorities to identify the source of the laser that caused the return of the aircraft to Heathrow," Virgin Atlantic said in a statement, according to Metro.
The London Metropolitan Police Service confirmed that it is investigating the incident, CNN reports. As of now, there have been no arrests.
Pointing a laser at an aircraft is very dangerous and can cause serious injury. Lasers can potentially burn a pilot's cornea, and use of these beams regularly puts pilots in the hospital. In severe cases, it can cause blindness.
Between 2009 and 2015, in the UK alone, more than 8,998 laser incidents were reported to the UK Civil Aviation Authority.