Passengers on an Emirates flight that crash landed in Dubai in August last year are suing the aircraft’s manufacturer Boeing.

The law suit, filed in Chicago where Boeing has its corporate headquarters, alleges on behalf of 15 people that the crash was caused by an issue with the aircraft’s design.

According to the lawsuit, a switch used by pilots to assist in what is known as a “go around” was defective in design, deactivating at a crucial moment, depriving the aircraft’s engines of sufficient power to get back into the air.

On August 3 last year, Emirates flight EK 521 from Thiruvananthapuram to Dubai crash-landed in Dubai, and burst into flames nine minutes after passengers were evacuated.

An Emirati firefighter died and 30 people were injured, including four seriously. when the Boeing 777 from Kerala hit the runway during an aborted landing.

An interim report early this month by the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority found “that there were no aircraft systems or engine abnormalities up to the time of the accident.”

A statement issued by the law firm claims that a cockpit device deployed during take-off and go around, known as the TO/GA switch, was “defectively designed” because it was “inhibited or deactivated” for several seconds on the initial landing.

The aircraft was completely destroyed by the fire, the first total loss in the airline’s history.

The lawsuit, filed by Wisner Law Firm in Illinois, says the passengers it is representing suffered “physical and psychological injuries.” They include citizens of the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Turkey and residents of the UAE.

Boeing has said it cannot comment because litigation is pending.

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