An illegal immigrant slashed his throat today as he was being deported on a plane.
The man is receiving treatment in hospital after the Virgin Atlantic flight from London Gatwick to Kingston, Jamaica, was postponed.
A UK Border Agency spokesman said an investigation was being launched into how the man was able to inflict the "superficial injuries" on himself.
Passengers, who watched in in horror as the incident took place, have been offered counselling by the airline.
Emergency services prevented more serious injury by "gluing" his throat together, a source said.
A spokeswoman for the airline said: "Virgin Atlantic confirms that flight VS69 from London Gatwick to Kingston has been delayed until 12.45 on June 21 following a passenger incident.
"The aircraft which was due to depart at 12.45 on June 20 was met by the relevant authorities and the passenger was taken to hospital for treatment.
"The safety and welfare of our crew and passengers is Virgin Atlantic's top priority. Virgin Atlantic is cooperating with the authorities in their investigation of the incident and is offering counselling support to passengers and crew.
"All passengers on board the plane have been provided with hotel accommodation, refreshments and meals until the flight departs tomorrow. Any passengers who wish to change their flights will be able to do so."
The Boeing 747-400 aircraft was carrying 449 passengers and 17 crew.
A UKBA spokesman added: "There has been an incident today involving a Jamaican individual being removed from the UK on a flight from Gatwick airport.
"The individual was taken to hospital with superficial injuries. An investigation is under way."