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Rediff.com  » News » Emirates flight crash landing remains a mystery

Emirates flight crash landing remains a mystery

August 04, 2016 22:41 IST

The cause of the crash landing of the Emirates' Thiruvananthapuram-Dubai flight on Wednesday with 300 people on board remains a mystery with no authentic word available even as reports suggested that the plane touched down without its landing gear out.

The United Arab Emirates' General Civil Aviation Authority, which is probing the incident, said the work was underway to recover the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, also known as "black boxes", that will be analysed at its facility in Abu Dhabi.

It is expected that once the black boxes are recovered, the cause of the crash landing will become clearer.

According to reports, the Emirates Airlines Boeing 777-300 which took off from Thiruvananthapuram was on final approach to Dubai's runway but attempted to go around from low height.

"The aircraft, however, did not climb, but after retracting the gear touched down on the runway and burst into flames... The aircraft burned down completely. A firefighter attending to the aircraft lost his life," the Aviation Herald reported.

However, the airline refused for a second day to provide details on what caused the crash and what the circumstances were immediately before it hit the ground.

They also declined to confirm whether the landing gear had been successfully deployed.

Meanwhile, the operations at the Dubai International Airport remained disrupted with delays and flight cancellations persisting. As many as 237 flights are reportedly cancelled due to the disruption.

"DXB (Dubai International's code) continues to operate with one runway with higher priority for arriving flights and wide-bodied aircraft to maximise the utilisation of available capacity and ease congestion inside the terminals," Dubai Airports said in a statement.

It expected operations to return to normal in two days.

"The airport is expected to be on recovery mode for the next 48 hours with efforts in full swing to clear the backlogged flights," it said.

The Dubai airport is the world's largest air hub in terms of international passengers, and is the base for Emirates, which serves more than 153 destinations.

Meanwhile, Emirates, in a statement on Thursday, said out of the 282 passengers on the flight EK521, 157 disembarked in Dubai and left the airport on Thursday afternoon.

Another 107 passengers opted to continue on their journeys and remained airside where they were provided with refreshments, rest areas, and other necessities, while Emirates rebooks them on the next possible flights, it said.

According to the airline, 13 passengers opted to stay a few days in Dubai before continuing on their journeys and Emirates has provided them with hotel accommodation and dedicated support.

Five 5 passengers were brought to local hospitals with minor injuries, it said adding that, "we have dedicated a staff liaison supporting their requirements. We will continue to extend all possible care to our affected customers."

Besides, Emirates Chairman and Chief Executive, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum has met with the crew members of the flight, who are all safe and accounted for, the airline said.

"One cabin crew member was hospitalised yesterday, but is in good condition and will be discharged from a local hospital today," the statement said.

According to Emirates, both the captain and the First Officer of the flight have over 7,000 hours of flying experience each.

"Emirates is fully collaborating with local authorities to determine the cause of the incident," it said.

"We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to our affected passengers, and ask for their continued understanding and patience as our teams work to restore operations back to normal," it said.

The statement also said that passengers holding tickets purchased on or before August 3, can rebook or cancel their bookings without any fee.

Photograph: Reuters

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