DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CBSNewYork/AP) — Emirates airline CEO says a firefighter was killed while responding to airliner crash-landing in Dubai.
There were no fatalities on the Dubai-based airline Emirates flight from India that crash-landed at Dubai International Airport on Wednesday.
Emirates said the incident happened as Flight EK521 was arriving from the southern Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram.
The plane came down on its belly. Video posted online shows the Boeing 777 erupting into a massive fireball and blowing off one of the wings
The airline said the Boeing 777 plane had 282 passengers and 18 crew on board. Amazingly, all 300 people on board, including six Americans, were quickly and safely evacuated in about one minute.
Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum also told a news conference on Wednesday night that 10 people were hospitalized after the incident at Dubai International Airport earlier in the day.
Iype Vallikadan, a reporter from Indian newspaper “Mathrubhumi News,” said passengers said the pilot spoke to them as the plane neared Dubai, saying there was a problem with the landing gear and that he would make an emergency landing.
Passengers said the cabin crew opened all the emergency exits of the plane and that everyone on board the aircraft were evacuated within minutes of the landing.
The airline said on Twitter that its “main priority remains with those involved and offering support to concerned family and friends.”
“I think the engine or something burned so the smoke was coming inside so immediately they asked us to evacuate,” said passenger Shadi Kochuktty.
In a statement on its Facebook page, Emirates called the accident “an operational incident” but provided no further details.
It also released a list of the nationalities of the passengers and crew on board the flight.
The airline said there were 226 from India, 24 Britons and 11 Emiratis. There were six people each from the United States and Saudi Arabia, five from Turkey and four from Ireland.
Two people each came from Australia, Brazil, Germany, Malaysia and Thailand, and one each from Croatia, Egypt, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lebanon, Philippines, South Africa, Switzerland and Tunisia.
The airline said dedicated phone lines are now active for family members seeking information.
Airport officials say there were strong winds and blowing dust as the plane approached the runway.
The exact cause of the crash-landing is still under investigation.
Dubai International airport is the busiest in Middle East handling almost 80 million passengers last year.
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