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Dublin: 13°C Saturday 16 October 2021

Four Irish passengers on board plane that crash-landed killing fireman

Passengers and crew were all evacuated safely.


FOUR IRISH PEOPLE were on board the Emirates flight which had to be evacuated by emergency services after crash-landing in Dubai International Airport.

Images showed a large plume of smoke coming from the plane on the runway. In a statement, the airline said flight EK521 from Thiruvananthapuram in India was was involved in “an operational incident upon landing”.

It said passengers and crew were all evacuated safely. There were 282 passengers and 18 crew on board the plane at the time of the incident.

A firefighter lost his life during the incident. The director general of the General Civil Aviation Authority, Saif al-Suwaidi, said in a statement that “one of the firefighters lost his life while saving the lives of the others.”

The majority of the passengers were Indian, 24 were from the United Kingdom and four were Irish.

Speaking earlier this afternoon, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said that it had not been officially confirmed that there were Irish passengers on board, but that there were no reported Irish casualties.

Emirates chief executive officer Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum told reporters that 13 people on board were hospitalised, most of them for minor injuries.

Sky News reports the plane ‘crash-landed’, but the airline has not provided details of the problem landing. Footage posted online shows flames bursting out of the front of the aircraft.

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Source: TimesLive/YouTube

Shaji Kochikutty, who was on board the plane with his wife and three daughters, recounted surviving the “near disaster.”

“We are grateful to be alive. What more can we ask for?” the Dubai-based businessman said, speaking to weekly newspaper XPRESS.

After the plane caught fire on landing, airline staff “opened all emergency exits and guided us out,” Kochikutty said.

“I first sent my three daughters. My wife went next but hurt her knee while jumping out. I bruised my feet as I ran without my shoes. We were promptly given first aid and we are all fine now,” he said.

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy and © – AFP 2016

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