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Emirates plane in smoking drama at Melbourne airport
February 20, 2014, 9:45 am
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An aircraft operated by Dubai’s Emirates Airline was seen to be smoking as it touched down at an airport in Australia, it was reported, only days following incidents of apparent arson on a plane belonging to Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways.

The Emirates plane, travelling from Dubai, was scheduled to land in Melbourne at 07:40 on Thursday morning, but was seen to be smoking as it arrived, Australia’s The Age newspaper said.

Firefighters raced towards the aircraft to ensure it was safe, before all passengers were escorted from the jet. No injuries were reported.

The aircraft, operating under the code EK406, then departed Melbourne for Auckland as scheduled.

‘‘Emirates this morning has issued an ‘all clear’ in response to reports of smoke coming from the tyres of EK406 landing at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport on Thursday 20 February 2014," a statement issued by Emirates said.

‘‘As a precautionary measure, Emirates held the aircraft at the end of the runway and dispatched engineers to inspect the aircraft.

‘‘The engineers undertook a thorough check and found the smoke to be the result of a regular occurrence caused by a tyre which has not been in motion in the air, making contact with a stationary runway.

‘‘The aircraft was thoroughly checked and cleared to taxi to terminal and has departed on its next route to Auckland.’’

Earlier this week, an Etihad Airways flight from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi diverted to Jakarta after two fires were sparked in the cabin toilets while the plane was mid-air.

A third incident also took place after the plane resumed its journey, causing the pilot to cancel all in-flight service so that air stewards could guard each of the cabin’s toilets.

Flight EY461 departed Melbourne about 11pm on Monday and eventually arrived in the UAE capital four hours behind schedule, without any injury to passengers or crew.

Etihad Airways confirmed the pilot diverted the Boeing 777-300ER to Jakarta, Indonesia, when smoke was detected in two of the toilets, “as a precautionary measure” to allow authorities to assist him to conduct a security assessment of the situation.

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