Emirates plane crash-lands at Dubai airport

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(BBC) 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 inflatable emergency exit slides can be seen next to the remains of the aircraft (EPA photo)
The inflatable emergency exit slides can be seen next to the remains of the aircraft (EPA photo)

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 to and from the airport were suspended for several hours but have now resumed.

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.

Analysis by Richard Westcott, Transport correspondent

When you look at the pictures, it seems incredible that no-one was killed in this accident.

As is usual following a big accident, there are lots of unconfirmed reports out there speculating about what happened.

The aircraft is sitting on the ground without its landing gear, but it is not clear why the wheels are not down.

Some reports suggest the crew were making a normal, rather than an emergency approach, when air traffic controllers told them to abandon the landing and start climbing again, for unknown reasons.

The answers should come out in the next few days.

Whatever the cause, it is a testament to the crew that they got everyone off the plane safely.

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.

 

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