Update: All passengers on board flight EK521 have been escorted to safety: reports news agency PTI.
Dubai: An Emirates passenger jet has crash landed at Dubai Airport before bursting into flames, it has emerged.
Thick black smoke could be seen rising over Dubai International Airport after an Emirates Boeing 777 carried out an emergency landing at around 12.45pm local time.
There are reports the landing gear for the plane, which had flown from Trivandrum International Airport in India, may not have come down fully prior to touching down. Other reports claimed a fire had started mid-air before landing.
Dramatic footage shows the aircraft exploding in a fireball on the runway, with the force of the blast throwing a huge metal panel from the plane into the air.
A pilot who witnessed flight EK521 landing told NDTV the plane came in ‘really hard’ and hit the ‘runway tail’. A passenger on another plane said she could see emergency chutes deployed.
All flights to the Dubai terminal have been diverted while emergency crews work at the scene. All take-offs and landings have been suspended. Chris Galusha landed at Dubai Airport just 25 minutes before the plane crash landed, which has caused four to five hours of delays.
‘The board is slowly updating major delays. Cannot see anything from terminal at this time,’ he tweeted MailOnline, alongside a picture of the departure screen showing all flights as delayed. ‘Airport is quiet right now. Calm before storm before people deplane,’ he tweeted.
Emirates said in a statement: ‘Emirates can confirm that today, 3rd August 2016, flight EK521 travelling from Trivandrum International Airport in Thiruvananthapuram, India to Dubai has been involved in an accident at Dubai International Airport. There were 275 passengers and crew on board.
‘Our main priority at this time is the safety and wellbeing of all involved and full co-operation is being extended to the authorities and emergency services managing the situation.’
The airline said there were no reported casualties yet. The Dubai government’s official media office said: ‘All passengers were evacuated safely and no injuries have been reported so far. ‘Concerned Authorities at Dubai International Airport are dealing with the incident at the moment to ensure safety of all.’
Emirates said the flight departed at 10.19am from Trivandrum International Airport and was scheduled to land at 12.50pm at Dubai International Airport.
‘We are in the process of opening our customer assistance line and will share these details soon but at this stage we have no further information on what may have caused the accident. Our priority remains with the passengers and crew involved. ‘We are expecting a four-hour network wide delay, more information will be available on the Emirates website and social media channels.’
Dubai International is by far the Middle East’s busiest airport, and is the world’s busiest air hub in terms of international passenger traffic.