An Emirates flight from India with 300 people on board crash landed at Dubai’s main airport on Wednesday, sending black smoke billowing into the air and halting all traffic at the Middle East’s busiest airport. Authorities said all passengers were evacuated safely, but one firefighter was killed while fighting the flames.
Dubai-based Emirates said the accident happened around 12.45 pm local time as Flight EK521 was arriving from Thiruvananthapuram.
The airline confirmed that there were 282 passengers and 12 crew on board and said “all passengers and crew are accounted for and safe.”
There were 226 Indians in the flight.
The Dubai government’s official media office separately said that all passengers were “evacuated safely and no injuries have been reported so far.”
However, a Dubai-based firefighter died while putting out flames from accident, which was not related to security, the Emirates airline chairman said.
It said authorities were “dealing with the incident at the moment to ensure safety of all”. Around five hours after the incident took place, the media office tweeted that the airport, one of the busiest in the world in terms of international passengers, had resumed departure and arrival flights.
Dubai International Airport resumes operations for departure & arrival flights— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) August 3, 2016
“Our main priority at this time is the safety and wellbeing of all involved and full co-operation is being extended to the authorities and emergency services managing the situation,” the carrier said.
The Boeing 777 departed Thiruvananthapuram at 10:19am and was scheduled to land at 12:50 pm local time, according to Emirates. The Dubai-based carrier said the incident happened at 12.45pm local time (845 GMT).
Scary and sad to see that ESP as a pilot who flew that plane for years pic.twitter.com/Ao98875Heg— sameer bagai (@sambagai) August 3, 2016
Dubai International is by far the Mideast’s busiest airport, and is the world’s busiest air hub in terms of international passenger traffic. Government-backed Emirates is the region’s biggest carrier, and operates the world’s largest airline fleet of the wide-body 777 long-haul aircraft.
The aircraft involved in the incident, a Boeing 777, has been in the news in the past as well. It was the same make and model as Malaysia Airlines flights MH 370 and MH 17.