Zimbabwe aviation officials had claimed the Boeing 767 was attempting to land at Harare International airport when it was involved in an accident late on Thursday.
Officials had confirmed that while some passengers were injured there were no immediate reports of deaths.
But the Foreign Office later issued a statement, saying the “accident” was in fact a “drill”.
While the airline which had been reportedly involved in the accident was not named, several companies were quick to deny their involvement.
“As we understand it, it’s a drill, it isn’t real, it hasn’t really happened,” a spokeswoman said.
“We have got somebody on the way to the airport just to check.
“We have spoken to airport and air authorities and they say it’s a drill.”
Officials from South African Airways and Kenya Airways also said they were told the incident was a drill.
“The airport is carrying a drill,” a Kenya Airways official said.
“We also didn’t know anything about it, but there are ambulances and police around the airport to make it like a real situation.”
Earlier it was reported that ambulance crews had rushed to the airport after witnesses reported seeing the plane involved in the accident and smoke coming from one of the runways.
“I can confirm that a 767 plane coming from London has had an accident at Harare airport,” said David Chawota, chief executive of the Zimbabwe Civil Aviation Authority.
“I am not at the site, but there are just injuries, no deaths. I cannot name the airline involved or say more at this particular time
“We are trying to establish what has caused the accident. We have set up an emergency help line desk to assist.”
A British Airways spokesman confirmed none of the airline’s planes had been involved in an accident. Air Zimbabwe chief executive officer Peter Chikumba also said none of its planes was involved.
A Boeing spokesman, Charlie Miller, had no immediate information about the name of the airline or the circumstances of the accident.
A Boeing 767 can carry up to 375 passengers.
In November last year, an Air Zimbabwe plane veered off the runway in Harare after hitting a group of warthogs.
Two passengers were injured in the incident. Telegraph.co.uk