Last updated: 02:09 PM ET, Wed August 03 2016

Emirates Airline Plane Crash-Lands, Burns on Dubai Runway

Impacting Travel | Rich Thomaselli | August 03, 2016

Emirates Airline Plane Crash-Lands, Burns on Dubai Runway

PHOTO: Emergency crews get the passengers off the Emirates plane that crash landed in Dubai. (photo via Twitter/Al Arabiya)

An Emirates Airlines flight from India to Dubai crash-landed at Dubai International Airport this morning and burned on the runway, the airline confirmed.

Video from Croatian news provider Radio 101 showed the horrifying scene:

All 300 people on board – 282 passengers and 18 crew members – were evacuated and accounted for, the government said.

Flight EK521, a Boeing 777-300 built in March 2003, was traveling from the southern Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram to Dubai. The incident happened at 12:45 p.m. this afternoon Dubai time, 5:45 a.m. EDT.

Many took to Twitter immediately to thank the Emirates crew that saved so many lives.

Emirates released the following 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 Dubai airport has been closed to departures, and Emirates Airlines said it was experiencing a “four-hour network-wide delay.”

Thick, black smoke billowed from the plane and across the airport as the plane apparently skidded on the runway, although unconfirmed reports suggested a fire might have broken out on the plane while it was still in mid-air.

According to CNN, the entire top half of the aircraft's fuselage was missing after airport personnel extinguished the flames, with the belly of the plane slumped on the tarmac. Aviation correspondent Richard Quest noted that it appeared the front landing gear had collapsed, which would be in line with reports from eyewitnesses that it looked as though the plane slid across the runway.

While all passengers and crew were evacuated, Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said at a news conference later that one firefighter was killed while fighting the blaze. Al Maktourn said he did not believe the cause was a security issue but termed it "operational," and noted that the two pilots had a combined 7,000 flight hours.

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