It’s the kind of nightmare story every airplane passenger dreads — a terrifying, fiery crash landing.
Thanks to the fast actions of the rescue crews at Dubai’s main airport Wednesday, all 300 of this airplanes passengers will live to tell the tale.
An Emirates flight from India with 300 people on board crash landed at Dubai’s main airport Wednesday, sending black smoke billowing into the air and halting all traffic at the Middle East’s busiest airport. There were no fatalities and all the passengers were safely evacuated before the plane was engulfed in a massive fireball.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) August 3, 2016
Firefighters soon managed to bring the fire under control. The top of the aircraft was scorched brown from near the cockpit back to its tail. Several yellow fire trucks surrounded the plane.
Social media video shows frightened, evacuated passengers as they fled the plane following the crash —
Dubai-based Emirates said the accident happened around 12:45 p.m. local time as Flight EK521 was arriving from the southern Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram.
The Boeing 777 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.
The Dubai government’s official media office separately said that all passengers were “evacuated safely and no injuries have been reported so far,” but gave no details of what went wrong.
In Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3, the home of Emirates, the typically bustling arrivals hall was hushed. Flat-screen televisions showed all incoming Emirates delayed or rescheduled.
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 Boeing 777 departed Thiruvananthapuram at 10:19 a.m. and was scheduled to land at 12:50 p.m. local time, according to Emirates.
Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of the southwestern Indian state of Kerala. Many blue-collar migrant workers employed in the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf nations come from Kerala, which is a popular beachside tourist destination.
T.P. Seetharam, India’s ambassador to the UAE, said Indian diplomats had been dispatched to the airport and had met directly with many passengers.
“Many of them are in shock after such an event, and there may be minor bruises,” he said in a telephone interview from Abu Dhabi.
Thanks to the fast acting rescue crews, that seems to be all the human damage done.
Dubai International is by far the Mideast’s busiest airport, and is the world’s busiest air hub in terms of international passenger traffic. It handled some 78 million passengers last year.
Fast-growing Emirates is the region’s biggest carrier. The government-backed airline has a good safety record, with no other major accidents recorded since its founding in 1985.
It operates the world’s largest airline fleets of the wide-body 777 and Airbus A380 long-haul aircraft.
The Associated Press contributed to this article