Four Irish people onboard Emirates plane which 'crash-landed' in Dubai
All passengers were evacuated but it was later confirmed that a firefighter died whilst tackling the blaze.
Published 03/08/2016 | 10:39
Four Irish people were on the Emirates plane which caught fire at Dubai International Airport after it crash-landed because of an equipment failure.
Photos showed plumes of black smoke rising into the air from the plane.
Incredibly, all 300 passengers and crew escaped alive from the terrifying incident. However, it was later confirmed a Dubai firefighter died whilst tackling the blaze.
A spokesperson for the airline said: "Emirates can confirm that an incident happened at Dubai International Airport on 3rd August 2016 at about 12.45pm local time (9.45am BST)."
The nationality of those on board was released by the airline on their Facebook page. Four Irish people were listed amongst the nationalities of those travelling on board.
The Irish Embassy in Dubai said it is engaging with those affected by the incident and will offer consular assistance if needed.
Fire from Emirates flight in Dubai airport - on the runway! pic.twitter.com/cWILh4CXQ6— Krishna Bhagavathula (@kbhagava) August 3, 2016
Speaking in Dublin, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said he has yet to be given official confirmation that Irish passengers were on the flight.
"My understanding is, there has been an emergency or crash landing, a plane, Emirates airline, in Dubai. It has been reported that there are a number of Irish passengers on board. This has not been officially confirmed. My understanding is there has been no injuries."
Krishna Bhagavathula, who was at the airport, wrote on Twitter that the flames had burned through the top of the aircraft before being brought under control.
A spokesperson for the Dubai media office, which represents the Emirate's government, said the plane was flying in from India when it "crash-landed".
All 275 passengers were evacuated safely, a statement added.
"Authorities at Dubai International Airport are dealing with the incident at the moment to ensure safety of all."
The Aviation Herald reported that the Boeing 777, from Thiruvananthapuram in India "suffered a collapse of the landing gear and burst into flames".
Dubai resident Girisankal Gangadhakan said his wife called him after the plane landed to tell him that she and their three children onboard had been involved in an accident but were safe.
"I was shocked when I heard about that," he said.
The cause of the equipment failure is under investigation.
Data recorded by the Flightradar24 website showed the flight appeared normal until the landing, cruising at 36,000ft before beginning a gradual descent.
A spokesperson for Emirates airlines said the aircraft was involved in an "accident" at about 12.45pm local time (9.45am BST).
"We can confirm that there are no fatalities, all passengers and crew are accounted for and safe," a statement said.
"There were 282 passengers and 18 crew on board. The main priority remains with those involved and offering support to concerned family and friends.
"We are extending full co-operation to authorities and emergency services managing the situation."
Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum later said a firefighter was killed while battling flames that erupted when the plane crash-landed.
All departures have been suspended at Dubai International Airport until further notice, with long delays and diversions expected.
Emirates also warned of a "network-wide" delay lasting four hours, although the reason was unclear.