DUBAI, Aug 3 – Passengers at Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport have been told that their flight will be delayed for five hours after an Emirates Airline plane coming from India crash-landed and burst into flames.
At 1:48 p.m. local time, Emirates Airlines tweeted: “We can confirm flight EK 521 from Thiruvananthapuram to Dubai has been involved in an accident at Dubai International.”
Video purportedly of the incident showed a tower of flame bursting from the front of the aircraft, and then a thick black plume of smoke rising into the sky. We were unable independently to verify the footage.
Photographs of the incident posted on social media showed a plane lying crumpled on its belly on the tarmac with black smoke pouring from its upper section.
A spokesperson for operator Dubai Airports said all 275 passengers on board and crew had been safely evacuated and the emergency services were managing the situation. Emirates Airline said there had been 275 passengers and crew aboard the plane.
Sources from Dubai Airports says there was a problem with the engine on Emirates Flight EK521,which forced the Boeing 777 aircraft to land in Dubai.
All systems and check-ins at Dubai International, the country’s busiest airport, have resumed. Expected flight arrivals at the airport will be diverted to Sharjah Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport.
Emirates Airlines has had two accidents since it started operating in 1985. In April 2004, an Emirates Airbus A340-300 en route to Dubai from Johannesburg sustained serious damage during takeoff after it failed to become airborne before the end of the runway.
The aircraft returned for an emergency landing during which the normal braking system failed as a result of the damage. In their report, South African investigators found that the captain had used a wrong take-off technique, and criticized Emirates training and rostering practices.
In March 2008, an Emirates Flight EK 407 flying from Melbourne to Dubai failed to take off properly at Melbourne Airport, hitting several structures at the end of the runway before landing safely at the airport. No injures were reported, but the incident was severe enough that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau classified it as an accident.