Dubai: Emirates Flight EK521 crash | aerial catastrophe
(BBC News, 3 Aug 2016) – An Emirates plane has crash-landed at Dubai International Airport. All 300 people on board were able to escape from the burning aircraft, but a firefighter was killed.
The plane appeared to have landed on its belly, and images showed thick black smoke rising into the sky.
Emirates chairman Ahmed bin Saeed paid tribute to the firefighter who lost his life fighting the blaze.
The Boeing 777 was flying to Dubai from the southern Indian state of Kerala.
Flights to and from the airport were suspended for several hours but have now resumed.
The chairman told a press conference that evacuation procedures were executed professionally and the cabin crew were the last to leave the plane.
A passenger on board the plane told Reuters that the experience was terrifying.
“As we were landing there was smoke coming out in the cabin,” said Sharon Maryam Sharji.
“People were screaming and we had a very hard landing.
“We left by going down the emergency slides and as we were leaving on the runway we could see the whole plane catch fire.”
Emirates airline said there were 282 passengers and 18 crew on board from 20 nationalities, most of them Indian, with 24 Britons and 11 people from the United Arab Emirates.
Flight EK521, direct from Thiruvananthapuram to Dubai, is popular with hundreds of thousands of Kerala residents who work in the Gulf countries.
The live air traffic monitor Flightradar24 posted more details of the aircraft involved in the incident:
Emirates is the Middle East’s biggest airline, and has an excellent safety record.
It ranked seventh in a survey of the world’s safest airlines by AirlineRatings.com, an independent plane safety website.
Dubai International Airport is a major transport hub, one of the world’s busiest for international passengers, operating with only two runways.