Four Irish on board Emirates plane that crash-landed in Dubai; hot weather may have played role

Update 3pm: Hot weather could have played a part in the crash of an Emirates airliner which sent black smoke billowing into the air after it landed at Dubai's main airport, an aviation expert has said.

Flight EK521, which was carrying 282 passengers, including four Irish people, and 18 crew members, was arriving from the southern Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram when the accident happened at around 12.45pm local time.

Four Irish on board Emirates plane that crash-landed in Dubai; hot weather may have played role

There were no fatalities and all passengers and crew were accounted for and safe, the airline said.

Early indications suggested the plane, a Boeing 777, was not at fault and other factors would have been involved, according to expert David Learmount.

"The images tell us nothing except the aircraft eventually caught fire, but it certainly doesn't tell us why it did," he said.

"It was an incredibly hot day, it was very nearly 50 degrees. If you get a damaged wing and fuel comes out of it, it vaporises in temperatures like that and vapour is highly inflammable."

He said temperature was "very likely" to have been a factor and the crash should not prompt concerns about the safety of the plane.

"There have been accidents where 777s have been very badly damaged during a landing and yet we haven't had a fire like that," he said.

Mr Learmount said the crew acted in line with protocol by evacuating all passengers.

"If there is a fire or a risk of a fire, then the drill for every crew for every aeroplane flight in the world is to get the passengers off very fast, because if you don't it's a disaster," he said. "Did they do well? No, they did what they were paid for."

The Boeing 777 departed Thiruvananthapuram at 10.19am and was scheduled to land at 12.50pm local time, according to Emirates.

Video posted online showed black smoke billowing from what appeared to be an Emirates jetliner, lying on its belly on the runway.

Update 1.25pm:The Department of Foreign Affairs have said that the Irish embassy in Abu Dhabi is in contact with local authorities after a plane crash in Dubai.

300 people - including four Irish - have had to evacuate a passenger plane on the tarmac at Dubai airport before it burst into flames.

The Department has said they have not been in touch yet with the Irish people involved, but they are standing by to provide consular assistance.

Update 12.45pm: There were four Irish people on board an Emirates flight from India that crash-landed at Dubai's main airport, it has been confirmed.

Flight EK521 was travelling from Trivandrum International Airport in Thiruvananthapuram, India to Dubai.

The Boeing 777 aircraft, departed at 10.19am from Trivandrum International Airport and was scheduled to land at 12.50pm at Dubai International Airport.

Emirates said in a statement it could confirm the plane "has been involved in an operational incident upon landing at Dubai International Airport".

There were 282 passengers and 18 crew on board.

Dedicated telephone lines are now active for family members:

UAE - 8002111

UK - 0044 203 4508853

US - 0018113502081

Earlier:

An Emirates flight from India with 275 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 accident happened as Flight EK521 was arriving from the southern Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram, Dubai-based Emirates said.

All passengers were evacuated safely and no injuries have been reported so far, the Dubai government's official media office said.

It said authorities were "dealing with the incident at the moment to ensure safety of all" and that all departures from the airport have been halted until further notice.

"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.

Video posted online showed black smoke billowing from what looked like an Emirates jetliner lying on its belly on the runway.

The Boeing 777 departed Thiruvananthapuram at 10.19am and was scheduled to land at 12.50pm local time, according to Emirates.

Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of the south-western Indian state of Kerala, a popular beachside tourist destination.

Many migrant workers employed in the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf nations come from Kerala.

Dubai International is by far the Middle East'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.


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