A firefighter was killed while responding to a plane crash-landing in Dubai, the chairman and chief executive of Emirates airline has said.
Ten people were taken to hospital after the incident at Dubai International Airport, Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum told a news conference.
The accident happened as Flight EK521, a Boeing 777, was arriving from the southern Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram.
There were 300 people on board the aircraft at the time, including four Irish people.
The accident was the most serious ever for Emirates, which has grown at a breakneck pace over the last three decades and turned its home city of Dubai into a major long-haul international air hub.
It was the second major air disaster for a Dubai government-backed airline in less than five months. A FlyDubai 737-800 jetliner crashed in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, in March, killing all 62 on board.
The two airlines operate independently of one another, though they share the same chairman and are both ultimately owned by the government of Dubai.
Speaking to reporters in Dubai, Mr Al Maktoum stressed that all passengers, including four Irish, were safely evacuated before the plane was engulfed in a fireball. He said one firefighter died trying to put out the blaze.
Emirates said the accident happened at around 12.45pm local time as Flight EK521 was arriving from the southern Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram.
It confirmed that “all passengers and crew are accounted for and safe”, but gave no details of what went wrong.
“We do not have ... all the information. Thankfully there [were] no fatalities among our passengers and crew,” Mr Al Maktoum said in a video statement . “Our thoughts are with everyone involved.”
The Boeing 777-300 was carrying 282 passengers and 18 crew members from 20 different countries, according to the airline. Those onboard included 226 Indians, 24 Britons, 11 Emiratis, and six each from the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Airline officials refused to answer questions from journalists, including what might have caused the accident.
A problem with the plane’s landing gear appeared to have at least been a contributing factor.
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