Wednesday, August 3, 2016 12:19 pm
An Emirates passenger plane with 282 passengers on board crash landed at Dubai International Airport on Wednesday before exploding into a massive fireball on the runway.
Reports indicated that the plane, an Emirates Boeing 777 with 18 crew members was forced into an emergency landing at around 12.45pm local time.
All the passengers and the crew were safely evacuated, according to reports.
The plane departed from Trivandrum International Airport in India. Initial speculations indicated that the plane’s engine on the right side may have caught fire and fell off while landing.
Footage on social media and re-posted by Dubai-based Gulf News showed smoke billowing from the aircraft. All passengers were reportedly escorted to safety.
“Emirates can confirm that today, 3rd August 2016, flight EK521 travelling from Trivandrum International Airport in Thiruvananthapuram, India to Dubai has been involved in an accident at Dubai International Airport. There were 275 passengers and crew on board.
“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,” Emirates said in a statement confirming the crash.
It later upgraded the number of passengers on the plane to 282.
Al Arabiya News Channel correspondent in Dubai Abdullah Al-Muttawa said that all flights were “diverted either to Maktoum International Airport or Sharjah International Airport.”
He added: “Authorities dispatched emergency personnel on the ground and were able to evacuate all passengers on board to safety and there are no reports of injuries or casualties up until now.
Muttawa also said that there were reports of smoke onboard before the plane made an emergency landing.
Meanwhile, all departure flights from Dubai international airport were delayed until further notice, Dubai authorities said.
Emirates said it expected the crash to lead to a 4-hour network wide delay, promising that more information will be available on its website and social media channels.