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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Wednesday, August 15, 2018

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Emirates flight makes emergency landing, catches fire in Dubai; passengers and crew safe, firefighter killed

All 282 passengers and 18 crew members escaped

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DUBAI, U.A.E. - An Emirates flight caught fire while making an emergency stop in Dubai en route from southern’s India’s Thiruvananthapuram.> Big News Network

According to reports, all 282 passengers and 18 crew members escaped, relatively unhurt, from the terrifying accident that saw smoke billowing from the Boeing 777 after it came to a complete standstill. A firefighter however died of injuries sustained while fighting the fire.

Ten passengers were being treated at the Rashid hospital for smoke inhalation, while one, a crew member, was admitted for long-term treatment.

Of the passengers, 226 were Indian, 24 were British, 11 Emirati, and six each from the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. There were also five from Turkey, four from Ireland, two each from Australia, Brazil, Germany, Malaysia, Thailand and one each from Croatia, Egypt, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lebanon, Philippines, South Africa, Switzerland and Tunisia.

Passengers were evacuated within a few minutes of landing through the plane’s emergency exits.

In a statement, Emirates said, “Emirates can confirm that today, 3 August 2016, flight EK521 travelling from Trivandrum International Airport in Thiruvananthapuram, India to Dubai has been involved in an accident at Dubai International Airport.”

They added, “We can confirm that there are no fatalities among our passengers and crew. All passengers and crew are accounted for and safe. #EK521.”

Dubai government's official media office confirmed that all those on board were “evacuated safely and no injuries have been reported so far.”

of Ras Al Khaimah who fought the blaze however was killed, according to the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

The head of the authority said the firefighter lost his life while saving others. “On behalf of the General Civil Aviation Authority, I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of deceased. I salute his ultimate sacrifice that kept many from harm’s way. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of GCAA said Wednesday.

They added that the respective authorities were “dealing with the incident at the moment to ensure safety of all.”

Emirates operations resumed at Dubai International Airport after being closed for several hours. "We are still in recovery mode and a number of flights have been cancelled, delayed or diverted. We recognise that a lot of people will be affected," the airline said in a statement Thursday morning.

Emirates said the cause of the fire is still unknown; merely mentioning that it was an “operational incident upon landing.”

Commenting on the incident on Twitter, Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation and chairman and chief executive of Emirates airlines and group said, “Our priority right now is the safety of our passengers and crew and communicating with their families and friends. We will inform you of more details of the accident when we get it.”

The carrier added that they would prioritise "the safety and wellbeing of all involved and full co-operation is being extended to the authorities and emergency services managing the situation.”

Indian ambassador to the UAE T.P. Seetharam said that Indian diplomats had been dispatched to the airport and directly met passengers, many of whom were in shock.

Dedicated phone lines have been set up to cater to calls flowing in from the family and friends of passengers and crew who were on board. The lines are as follows:

UAE – 8002111, UK – 00442034508853, US – 1-877 3502081

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