Audio: Pilot injured after laser pointed into cockpit

The Airbus A340 can carry up to 350 passengers (Getty)
The Airbus A340 can carry up to 350 passengers (Getty)

A Virgin Atlantic A340 flying from London to New York has been forced to return to Heathrow Airport after a laser was pointed into the cockpit, causing an eye injury to one of the pilots.

Air traffic control audio from Live captured the emergency as it unfolded.

The pilot reported the incident occurred within 7 miles of Heathrow Airport.

Flight number VS25 was west of Ireland when it requested a return to London.

An A340 can carry up to 350 passengers.

A spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic said passengers would be accommodated overnight and flown to New York tomorrow morning

"The safety of our crew and customers is our top priority and we apologise for any inconvenience to those on-board.”

Listen to the audio above.