Fifteen people were injured when a Virgin Atlantic plane made an emergency landing on Monday at London Gatwick, the capital's second-largest airport, the airport said.

Virgin's Airbus A330 aircraft, which was travelling to Orlando in the United States, was forced to turn back soon after its take-off due to a fire in the hold, according to media reports.

Passengers suffered a range of injuries, including suspected fractures and cuts, as they escaped the aircraft using the emergency chutes.

The injured were among 13 crew and 299 passengers on the flight which left Gatwick just before 11 a.m.

The incident led to the suspension of flights in and out of the airport, leading to some knock-on delays.

Due to a technical problem on board the aircraft, the captain decided as a precautionary measure to immediately evacuate the aircraft, Virgin said in a statement.

Our teams at Gatwick are now looking after our passengers and assisting with their immediate requirements.

On its Twitter website, Gatwick said the incident had forced the airport to close.

Currently there are temporary delays to departing and arriving flights caused by an aircraft with technical issues on the runway, it said.

(Reporting by Michael Holden and Stephen Mangan; Editing by Steve Addison)