Flights expected to resume after crash landing in Dubai

Flights expected to resume after crash landing in Dubai

DUBAI — An Emirates flight from India with 300 people on board crash landed at Dubai’s main airport Wednesday, sending black smoke billowing into the air and halting all traffic at the Middle East’s busiest airport.

There were no fatalities and all the passengers were safely evacuated before the plane was engulfed in a fireball.

The Boeing 777 was carrying 282 passengers and 18 crew members from 20 different countries, according to the airline. Those onboard included 226 Indians, 24 Britons, 11 Emiratis, and six each from the United States and Saudi Arabia.

It said authorities were “dealing with the incident at the moment to ensure safety of all” and that all departures from the airport had been halted until further notice.

Emirates predicted there would be an eight-hour delay in operations across its network. A message from Dubai Airports on Twitter says that departures will begin again at 18:30 local time, or 10:30 EST, with larger aircraft given priority.

“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 carrier said.

Video posted online showed black smoke billowing from what looked like an Emirates jetliner lying on its belly on the runway.

Firefighters soon managed to bring the fire under control, with Associated Press journalists at the airport reporting that the charred fuselage of the plane appeared to no longer be burning. The top of the aircraft was scorched brown from near the cockpit back to its tail. Several yellow fire trucks surrounded the plane.

In Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3, the home of Emirates, the typically bustling arrivals hall was hushed. Flat-screen televisions showed all incoming Emirates delayed or rescheduled.

Dubai International is by far the Mideast’s busiest airport, and is the world’s busiest air hub in terms of international passenger traffic. It handled some 78 million passengers last year.

Fast-growing Emirates is the region’s biggest carrier. The government-backed airline has a good safety record, with no other major accidents recorded since its founding in 1985.

It operates the world’s largest airline fleets of the wide-body 777 and Airbus A380 long-haul aircraft.