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Fire guts Emirates jet after hard landing; 1 firefighter dies

Updated: 2016-08-04 11:49


Fire guts Emirates jet after hard landing; 1 firefighter dies

A general view shows Dubai International Airport after an Emirates Airline flight crash-landed, the UAE August 3, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

Flights at Dubai International resumed at 6:30 pm (1430 GMT) after all arrivals and departures were suspended for over five hours, authorities said.

According to air traffic control recordings cited by Aviation Herald, a respected independent website monitoring air accidents, controllers at Dubai reminded the crew of the Boeing 777 to lower the landing gear as it came into approach.

Shortly afterwards, the crew announced they were aborting the landing to "go around," a routine procedure for which pilots are well trained. But the aircraft came to rest near the end of the runway instead, Aviation Herald reported.

It was not immediately clear whether the landing gear was extended by the time the aircraft touched the ground at around 0845 GMT, though a family of passengers who declined to be named said the wheels did not deploy and the jet landed on its belly.

Unverified amateur video posted on Twitter appeared to show the plane sliding on its belly moments after landing, with its right engine torn away from its usual position under the wing.

Emirates initially said there were 275 passengers and crew aboard the plane, in service with the airline since 2003, but later updated that number to 282 passengers and 18 crew.

Both the airline and aircraft have a solid safety record. It is the first time an aircraft operated by Emirates has been damaged beyond repair since the carrier was founded in the 1980s.

The crash is nonetheless a blow to the Dubai carrier weeks after it was voted the world's top airline by Skytrax at the Farnborough Airshow, taking the crown from rival Qatar Airways.

Emirates carried 51.3 million passengers in 2015 and is the world's fourth largest carrier in terms of passenger traffic. It has over 250 aircraft, including the world's largest fleet of Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 jets.

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