An Emirates flight from India with 300 people on board has crash-landed at Dubai’s main airport sending black smoke billowing into the air and halting all traffic at the Middle East’s busiest airport.
The unfortunate event took place earlier today.
However, authorities say all passengers were evacuated safely.
Dubai-based Emirates said the accident happened around 12:45 p.m. local time as Flight EK521 was arriving from the southern Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram.
The Boeing 777 was carrying 282 passengers and 18 crew members, according to the airline, which had earlier provided a lower figure.
Video posted online showed black smoke billowing from what looked like an Emirates jetliner lying on its belly on the runway.
Firefighters soon managed to bring the fire under control, with Associated Press journalists at the airport reporting that the charred fuselage of the plane appeared to no longer be burning. The top of the aircraft was scorched brown from near the cockpit back to its tail. Several yellow fire trucks surrounded the plane.
Passengers said that minutes before the flight crash-landed, the pilot made an announcement that he needed to make an emergency landing. Thereafter, the cabin crew opened all the emergency exits of the plane and all passengers and crew were evacuated within minutes of the landing.
The jet departed Thiruvananthapuram at 10:19 a.m. and was scheduled to land at 12:50 p.m. local time, according to Emirates.
Officials from the airline and Dubai International Airport declined to immediately provide further details when reached by phone, but Emirates released the nationalities of the passengers and crew via social media. Most of them are from India. There were no Canadians on board.
Emirates predicted there would be a four-hour delay in operations across its network.
“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.
Dubai International Airportis 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 airport said at about 7 a.m. ET all arrivals and departures have been suspended until further notice.