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Dubai airport shuts down after Emirates Airline flight crash lands

Dubai airport shuts down after Emirates Airline flight crash lands

DUBAI: An Emirates plane with 300 people on board crash-landed and caught fire in Dubai on Wednesday, shutting down the busy airport, but the authorities said all the passengers were evacuated safely.

Footage on social media showed smoke billowing from the aircraft. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear.

“An Emirates plane coming from India has been involved in an accident on landing at Dubai International,” the government's Dubai Media Office said on its Twitter account.

“All passengers were evacuated safely and no injuries have been reported so far,” it said.




All departures and arrivals at Dubai International Airport were halted after the incident.

Emirates confirmed the incident, saying that the plane was a Boeing 777. “We can confirm flight EK521 from Thiruvananthapuram to Dubai has been involved in an accident at Dubai International,” the carrier said on its Twitter account.

A firefighter was killed while battling flames that erupted when an Emirates airline plane flying from India crash-landed in Dubai, the carrier's chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said.

Sheikh Ahmed said authorities were still investigating the incident, in which 14 other people were admitted to hospitals with mainly minor or moderate injuries. He said the crash-landing was not caused by any security breach.

He said the plane, which had entered service in 2003, had undergone maintenance in 2015 and that the United Arab Emirates pilot had over 7,000 hours of flying experience.

Emirates said it had “no further information on what may have caused the accident”. “Our priority remains with the passengers and crew involved,” it said.

Emirates said that there were 282 passengers and 18 crew members on board, including 226 Indians, 24 Britons and 11 Emirati nationals.

The Aviation Herald reported the aircraft touched down during a go-around without its gear deployed.

Footage on social media showed thick black smoke coming out of the centre of the plane while the fuselage appeared to be lying on the runway with escape slides opened.

The Dubai Media Office said the fire “has been contained,” adding that emergency teams at the airport and Emirates are “well trained to deal with such incidents”.

The Twitter account of live air traffic monitor Flightradar24 confirmed takeoffs and landings at Dubai had been suspended because of the incident.

Dubai airport resumed flights after a nearly four-hour shutdown caused by the accident involving an Emirates plane, authorities said.

“Dubai International Airport resumes operations for departure and arrival flights,” said the government's official Twitter account.

The accident comes almost four months after a plane belonging to Dubai's other carrier, flydubai, crashed and burst into flames as it was landing in Rostov-on-Don, in southern Russia, killing all 61 people on board.

On July 26, an Emirates Boeing 777-300 aircraft heading to the Maldives made an emergency landing in Mumbai because of a “technical fault”.

Dubai International is the world's largest hub in terms of international passengers, and is the base for Emirates, from where it serves more than 153 destinations.

Emirates, Qatar Airways and Abu Dhabi's Etihad have seized a significant portion of transcontinental travel, capitalising on the geographic locations of their Gulf hubs.

Emirates is the largest single operator of the Boeing 777, as well as the Airbus A380 superjumbo, and has expanded its fleet to 250 aircraft last year.

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