A Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330 bound for the US was unable to take off at Gatwick airport in London UK yesterday after smoke filled the cabin forcing passengers to evacuate.

Fifteen people required hospital treatment for trauma and three remained in hospital overnight following the evacuation which took place shortly after smoke filled the A330 cabin.

The flight Virgin VS27 was bound for Orlando Florida in the US when the alarm was triggered.

Greg Dawson, director of communications at Virgin Atlantic, said the plane turned back to the West Sussex airport after the captain received an indicator in the cockpit reports BBC.

"There has been no suggestion of a fire on board, but we can’t comment any further on our investigation until that’s completed with the local authorities," Dawson said.

Around 300 people were forced exit the Virgin Atlantic aircraft using emergency chutes supported by emergency rescue teams.

The passengers have since re-embarked for Orlando, Florida on another Virgin flight.

Virgin Atlantic chief Richard Branson later tweeted an apology to those on board the plane saying that the airline’s staff were doing everything possible to help.

Cockpit safety has been an integral part of Airbus latest generation of Airbus A380’s, the cockpit of which has 15x20cm interchangeable LCD displays from which all parameters and safety devices are constantly monitored.