A cargo plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Southend Airport yesterday evening.

The aircraft was diverted to the airport after developing “a problem flying” over the North Sea, a Southend Airport spokesperson has confirmed.

The twin-engine plane, operated by RVL aviation, was on a cargo charter flight from East Midlands Airport to Ostrava, in the Czech Republic.

The plane landed safely at 5.30pm (July 21), and following a safety inspection, taxied to a parking spot unassisted.

Yesterday, a source who asked not to be named, claimed a “possible engine fire” had caused the plane to divert for an emergency landing. The airport did not confirm whether this was the case.

A spokesperson for the airport said: “London Southend Airport accepted a diverted aircraft yesterday evening. The Saab 340 operated by RVL aviation was flying from East Midlands Airport to Ostrava, Czech Republic when it developed a problem flying over the North Sea.

“The aircraft landed safely at 5.30pm and following an inspection on the runway, the aircraft taxied under its own power to park."