A Boeing 777 belonging to Dubai-based airline Emirates crash-landed on Wednesday at its home airport at the end of a flight from Thiruvananthapuram, India. The aircraft was destroyed by an ensuing fire, but all 300 passengers and crew survived, Emirates said. A firefighter was killed, the carrier's chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said on Wednesday in a press conference.
He added authorities were still investigating the incident, in which 14 other people were admitted to hospitals with mainly minor or moderate injuries. He said the crash landing was not caused by any security breach.
Flight EK521 was in the last moments of its approach to the runway after a three and a half-hour flight when it initiated a go-around, an interruption of the landing that is often conducted because of a sudden obstruction on the runway or wind gusts.
However, according to aviation website Aviation Herald, the huge jet slammed down on the runway with its landing gear retracted, instead of climbing away for a new landing approach. The crew evacuated every one of the 282 passengers successfully before fire could spread through the cabin.
Videos from the scene shared on social media show a burning airplane and dusty and hazy weather conditions, which may have impeded visibility. The causes of the accident are unknown.
It's the first accident with the loss of an aircraft involving Emirates, the flag carrier of Dubai, one of the seven city-states making up the United Arab Emirates. It's also the first crash of a 777-300 model, the stretched-fuselage version of the popular Boeing long-range twinjet. According to Aviation Safety Network, the plane was a little more than 13 years old, a relatively young age for a modern jetliner.
Emirates is the world's largest operator of the Boeing 777, and one of the world's largest airlines. It was founded in 1985 and is wholly owned by the government of Dubai.
Reuters contributed to this report.