An emergency slide was put into action as fire engines surrounded a plane at Gatwick.

A passenger described the moment they saw cabin crew preparing for an emergency on their way back from Athens to Gatwick.

When Wizz Air flight W95746 arrived at the South Terminal at 3.49pm yesterday, it was met with three fire engines and other airport vehicles.

The Argus: The scene at the South TerminalThe scene at the South Terminal (Image: Newsquest)

One passenger returning to the UK said: "Unusually, the crew sat in the emergency exits for landing, so I'm not sure what they were expecting."

Flight tracking software ADSBexchange captured the moment the plane entered the country's airspace, circling over Uckfield before joining the approach path for Gatwick.

The Argus: The flight flew over Bexhill, Hailsham and Uxkfield before landing at GatwickThe flight flew over Bexhill, Hailsham and Uxkfield before landing at Gatwick (Image: ADSBexchange)

As some 230 passengers got off the Airbus A321, once the gate connecting the plane to the terminal was connected, they saw the evacuation slide had deployed.

The passenger added: "I overheard the cabin crew saying they had never seen anything like it, but obviously that could mean anything."'

The slide is typically used in emergency situations to allow a quick escape from the plane. It is stored in the door and can be inflated in a matter of seconds to get passengers to safety.

The Argus: The slide was deployed on the rear doorThe slide was deployed on the rear door (Image: Newsquest)

Emergency services at an airport will respond to incidents of all kinds, from burst tyres to engine failiures.

Wizz Air has been approached for comment.