Four Irish on board Emirates flight that crash-landed at Dubai Airport

No passengers injured as Emirates flight EK521 suffers "accident on landing"

Four Irish on board Emirates flight that crash-landed at Dubai Airport

A damaged Boeing 777 is seen at the Dubai Airport after it crash-landed, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates | Image: Jon Gambrell / AP/Press Association Images

A plane carrying 300 people has crash-landed at Dubai International Airport and burst into flames on the runway.

There were no fatalities on board and all were safely evacuated before the Emirates jet was engulfed in a fireball. However, one firefighter died while putting out the blaze. 

The deceased has been named as Jassim Eissa al-Baloushi on the Twitter account of Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

He said Emiratis should be proud of how he died "protecting life and saving people."

The airline confirmed flight EK521, carrying 282 passengers and 18 crew, was "involved in an accident" around 12:45pm local time.

Four Irish passengers were among those on board the jet, which was flying from Kerala, India.

Emirates airline chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum told a news conference that 14 people were taken to hospital as a result of the landing. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the Irish embassy in Abu Dhabi is in contact with local authorities.

“The department stands ready to provide consular assistance if requested," a spokesperson said. 

Footage posted online showed flames bursting out of the front of the Boeing 777-300.

Clouds of black smoke could be seen billowing from the plane in other pictures posted to social media.

Passengers on board said the pilot told them there was a problem with the landing gear and that he would be making an emergency landing, according to Indian media reports.

The Dubai government's official media office said all passengers were "evacuated safely and no injuries have been reported so far" and that emergency response teams had fully extinguished the fire.

India's ambassador to the United Arab Emirates said that many passengers were in shock, adding that a crew member had been taken to hospital for treatment. 

All take-offs and landings were suspended at the Middle East's busiest airport following the incident, resuming almost six hours after the crash-landing.

 

Passenger Alby Wilson, who was waiting in the airport lounge, said: "There was a loud noise outside. People ran to the windows and we saw the plane about 500 metres away."

"There was a lot of black smoke all across the tarmac...we were told to sit down and shortly after that there was a loud bang...the plane seemed to have shifted. The fire trucks were all around the plane."

"There is a bit of chaos here and Emirates staff don't seem to know when we can leave."

Boeing Airplanes said in a statement: "Our team is monitoring the situation in Dubai and we'll be working with Emirates to gather more information."

While Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Emirates' chairman and chief executive, posted this message online:

The airline has activated dedicated telephone lines for family members to get in contact: 

  • UAE - 8002111
  • UK - 00442034508853
  • US - 0018113502081