Dubai – 300 passengers miraculously escaped for their lives after an Emirates Airlines Boeing 777 crash-landed at Dubai International Airport (DXB). The plane was on its way to land at the airport coming from Thiruvananthapuram city in India.
Emirates Airlines announced that the incident of flight EK-521 occurred as the plane landed at DXB a 12:45 PM. The airline reported: “Emirates can confirm that an incident happened at Dubai International Airport on 3rd August 2016 at about 12:45 pm local time.”
All 282 passengers and 18 crew members have been evacuated; there were no reports of injuries. Information noted that the evacuation process was completed within 90 seconds.
After the incident, all flights had been suspended, delayed or diverted. Later that day, at around 18:30 local time, all flights resumed including that of Emirates Airlines. The first flight to leave the airport after the incident was a FedEX plane, while the first Emirates flight landed at 6:43 pm on Wednesday.
United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) announced the death of firefighter Jasem al-Baloushi while attending to the fire and saving lives. The director of the GCAA said: “I salute his ultimate sacrifice that kept many from harm’s way. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Chairman and chief executive of Emirates Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed reported that medical teams treated 13 passengers, including two Emiratis, who suffered from minor injuries. They left the hospitals shortly after.
Bin Saeed ruled out any security issues and said that the last maintenance the aircraft underwent was done this year. When asked by Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, bin Saeed said that all safety procedures and maintenance in and outside the plane are done according to the international criteria.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Sheikh Ahmed commended the professionalism of all who handled the incident. He noted that the evacuation procedures were executed professionally with the cabin crew last to leave the plane. He added that the Emirati pilot had more than 7,000 flight hours in experience.
“The minute we knew everybody walked away from the aircraft, we were very much relieved,” said Sheikh Ahmed. He added that they don’t have all the information now and he is awaiting fuller details to provide accurate information.
There were 20 different nationalities on the plane: 226 from India, 24 Britons, 11 from United Arab Emirates, 6 from the U.S., 6 Saudis, 5 from Turkey, 4 from Ireland, while the rest were from Australia, Brazil, Malaysia, Thailand, Croatia, Lebanon, Philippines, Switzerland, South Africa, Egypt, Bosnia, and Tunisia.
Commenting on the incident, general manager of the Sharjah International Airport Ali Salem al-Madfa said that Sharjah airport received on Wednesday a number of Emirates Airlines’ flights and that the airport is equipped to handle such situations. He added that passengers will be transported from Sharjah to Dubai via buses.
Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police and Head of the Local Emergency Major General Mohammed al-Rumaithi pointed out that Abu Dhabi received 7 flights and over 1500 passengers following the incident.