Emirates plane crash-lands at Dubai airport
An Emirates plane has crash-landed at Dubai International Airport. All 300 people on board were able to escape from the burning aircraft.
The plane appeared to have landed on its belly, and images showed thick black smoke rising into the sky. The cause of the incident is not known.
The Boeing 777 was flying to Dubai from the southern Indian state of Kerala.
The Dubai government media office said all passengers were evacuated safely and no injuries have been reported.
Flights from the airport, which were suspended, are due to resume at 18:30 local time (14:30 GMT).
An Emirates airlines Boeing 777-300 on the ground in Dubai airport (3 August 2016)Image EPA
The inflatable emergency exit slides can be seen next to the remains of the aircraft
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.
“Our main priority now is the safety and well-being of all involved,” the airline said on Twitter.
Passengers on planes landing at the airport at the time looked on in horror.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was absolutely horrified,”, Sarah-Louise Sherwood told the BBC.
“The slides came out but they were blowing all over the place. People managed to escape – from what I saw – before there was a big explosion, with flames everywhere. We had taxied and stopped right next to where it was happening and people in my plane were just saying ‘oh my god’ and ‘get us off this plane’,” she said.
Analysis By Richard Westcott, Transport Correspondent
An Emirates Airline flight is seen after it crash-landed at Dubai International Airport, the UAE (3 August 2016)Image REUTERS
The fuselage has suffered extensive damage
When you look at the pictures, it seems incredible that no-one was killed in this accident.
It is a testament to the training that airline crew are put through on a regular basis. Pilots practise emergencies in the simulator every six months throughout their careers. Cabin staff practise getting everyone down the inflatable slides without a panic.
We still do not have all the facts, but it appears that the Emirates plane had a problem with the landing gear. We do not know if the wheels collapsed when it hit the ground or failed to come down and lock in the first place.
An experienced Boeing pilot has told me that the crew may not have known what they were dealing with as they approached the runway. They may have been relying on the people in the control tower to tell them if their wheels looked down or not.
Their main priority would have been to land, then switch the engines off as quickly as possible before getting everyone out.
Clearly, everything worked.
No cause has so far been established for the crash, but images shared on social media suggest a belly landing, which occurs when an aircraft lands without its landing gear fully extended, using its underside to come to a halt.
The live air traffic monitor Flightradar24 posted more details of the aircraft involved in the incident.
Tweet from Flightradar24 reading Image TWITTER
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.
Flight EK521, direct from Thiruvananthapuram to Dubai, is popular with hundreds of thousands of Kerala residents who work in the Gulf countries.
Dubai International Airport is a major transport hub, one of the world’s busiest for international passengers, operating with only two runways.