An Emirates passenger jet with 300 people on board crash landed at Dubai International Airport. The freak accident which resulted into the plane catching fire and partially exploding happened as the plane attempted to land, but failed.
A passenger jet travelling from India to Dubai with 282 passengers and 18 crew members caught fire and an explosion partially tore the plane apart at one of the busiest airports in the world. Emergency personnel of the Dubai International airport not only managed to bring the situation under control, but according to the airport authorities, all the passengers and the crew members were safely evacuated, resulting in zero casualties.
An Emirates airline flight from Thiruvananthapuram (India) to Dubai (United Arab Emirates) crash landed at the Dubai International Airport. The flight, a Boeing 777-300 passenger jet, wasn’t packed to capacity as a full-fledged commercial jet can hold up to 451 passengers including the flight crew. Flying with registration A6-EMW, the Emirates flight number EK521 was on final approach to Dubai’s runway 12L at 12:41 p.m. local time, reported the Aviation Herald.
The Emirates aircraft crashed because it touched down on the runway with no landing gear. While the details are still sketchy, it seems the plane failed to land in the first attempt, attempted to gain altitude for trying again, but failed again and crash landed on the tarmac.
It appears the plane was trying to land, but owing to some as-yet unknown technical or weather problem, decided to climb back up and reattempt the landing. The Air Traffic Controller (ATC) at the Dubai Airport evidently has the flight recordings that reveal all the systems were normal while Emirates aircraft performed a routine approach for a textbook landing. There was no indication of onboard emergency and neither of the pilots had sent out any emergency communication.
After confirming with the ATC, the Emirates flight EK521, was specifically reminded to lower the landing gear and was given the go ahead to land. However, within a couple of minutes, EK521 reported it was going around for a second approach. ATC then instructed the plane to climb to 4,000 feet for reattempting the landing.
Unfortunately, the pilots tried to execute this ascension maneuver with the plane flying at a very low altitude. Though the pilots attempted to take the plane to a higher altitude, the aircraft did not climb and instead stooped low towards the tarmac. Shockingly, the landing gear or wheels had already been retracted into the plane. Despite the unfavorable conditions, the passenger jet still made contact with the runway on its belly and burst into flames. The ATC dispatched emergency services, stating the Emirates aircraft was near the end of the runway, and was immobilized. The plane was engulfed in flames and smoke, with the entire top half of the fuselage completely destroyed, reported the Telegraph.
Despite the accident, all the passengers as well as the crew were evacuated safely, confirmed the Dubai government’s media office. Though the airport has multiple runways, all the departures and arrivals from the airport were suspended until further notice, reported the BBC. It appears the Dubai International Airport is now slowly resuming operations.
Emirates has noted that the 282 passengers are from 20 nationalities, including 24 Britishers and 11 from UAE. A majority of the passengers, however, were Indians.
Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation and chairman and chief executive of Emirates airlines and group, confirmed the incident through a video message, reported Gulf News.
In the messages he stresses that there were no fatalities, and the priority of the government is to ensure safety of the passengers and crew, and establish contact with their families and friends.
[Photo by Petr Topic/Getty Images]