The Boeing 777 aircraft EK521 departed at 10.19am from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport and was scheduled to land at 12.50pm in Dubai.


Dubai’s emergency preparedness helped avert a major disaster after Emirates aircraft EK521 flying from Thiruvananthapuram, India, to Dubai made an emergency landing at Dubai International Airport on Wednesday.

Authorities managed to evacuate the 300 people onboard within minutes after landing. Passengers on the flight Khaleej Times spoke to said the flight’s inflatable slides were used in the evacuation operation. Videos of the incident on social media showed the aircraft going up in flames minutes after the evacuation.

Emirates confirmed that there are no fatalities among the 282 passengers and 18 crew. All passengers and crew are accounted for and safe, the airline said.

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

Disaster management teams at the airport and Rashid Hospital were put on high alert by 12.45pm as soon as the incident was reported. At the Rashid Hospital, 37 emergency beds, eight resuscitation beds, 88 critical care beds and 166 stable cases beds were readied, but they did not need to be used.

One person was admitted for long-term treatment, while less than five passengers were treated for smoke inhalation and burns at Rashid Hospital.

Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates airline and Group, issued a short statement, confirming there were no fatalities.

“We do not have all the details yet … Our first priority is the care and wellbeing of our passengers and our crew, and to answer queries from their families and friends. We have activated our humanitarian response teams to provide support, care and compassion to those affected.

“We have extended our full cooperation to the authorities and emergency services managing the situation. Our thoughts are with everyone involved. I request you to respect the privacy of our passengers, crew, families and friends of those on board,” he said.

Boeing Dubai issued a statement saying: “Boeing is aware of the Emirates Airline Flight EK521 accident in Dubai. We are thankful all aboard were evacuated safely. A Boeing technical team is standing by to launch in support of the US National Transportation Safety Board.

In accordance with the international protocol governing aviation accident investigations, all inquiries about the investigation must be directed to the United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority.”

Credits: reporters@khaleejtimes.com

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