At least 10 people are being treated in hospital for smoke-related and other injuries following the crash landing at Dubai International Airport on Wednesday.
Emirates chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum told a press conference in Dubai on Wednesday night that all 300 passengers and crew that were on board Emirates Flight EK521 were safe, and that a missing crew member had been found.
He told reporters: “Around 10 people remain in hospital and the missing crew member has been found. There was confusion about which hospital he was in.”
Some media outlets on Thursday reported that a total of 13 people had been treated in hospital. Emirates has yet to confirm the exact number since last night, when it was reported that a firefighter had been killed while trying to extinguish the blaze.
The Boeing 777-300 crash landed at Dubai airport at around 12.45pm on Wednesday. Images circulating on social media showed the aircraft engulfed in black smoke and sliding on its belly.
It is thought that the plane landed without its landing gear down – although Emirates has yet to confirm this and authorities have launched an investigation to determine the cause of the incident. Sheikh Ahmed told the press conference there was no fire on board the aircraft until it hit the runway.
Passengers and crew were evacuated in 90 seconds, it was reported, and all have been accounted for.
The incident brought Dubai International Airport to a standstill on Wednesday afternoon, with some flights resuming at 6.30pm, according to Emirates. Sheikh Ahmed said in a video statement: “Due to the incident, the airport was closed for approximately five and a half hours until 6.30pm local time. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to our customers and appreciate their support and understanding.
“We will post updates to flights on social media as they come.” Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said on Thursday morning that the airport was functioning at 50 percent pending clearance from the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
Source: Arabian Business