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Dubai International Airport crash-landing: Hot weather may have played role in incident

28 people from UK and Ireland on Emirates plane which caught fire

The hot weather in Dubai may have played a role in a plane's crash-landing at the airport.

A plane travelling from Trivandrum International Airport in Thiruvananthapuram, India to Dubai crash-landed. Operator Emirates said an equipment failure led to the crash on Wednesday.

One theory is that the plane's landing gear collapsed, however, the hot weather may have played a role according to one expert.

There were 282 passengers and 18 crew on board. Four were from Ireland and another 24 from the UK.

Photos showed plumes of black smoke rising into the air from the plane.

 

A spokesperson for the Emirates airline said: "Emirates can confirm that an incident happened at Dubai International Airport on 3rd August 2016 at about 12.45pm local time (9.45am BST).

"We can confirm that there are no fatalities, all passengers and crew are accounted for and safe," a statement said.

"There were 282 passengers and 18 crew on board. The main priority remains with those involved and offering support to concerned family and friends.

"We are extending full co-operation to authorities and emergency services managing the situation."

Krishna Bhagavathula, who was at the airport, wrote on Twitter that the flames had burned through the top of the aircraft before being brought under control.

A spokesperson for the Dubai media office, which represents the Emirate's government, said the plane was flying in from India when it "crash-landed".

"Authorities at Dubai International Airport are dealing with the incident at the moment to ensure safety of all," a statement said.

The Aviation Herald reported that the Boeing 777 "suffered a collapse of the landing gear and burst into flames".

However, aviation expert David Learmount said the plane may not have been at fault and other factors would have been involved, such as the hot weather.

"The images tell us nothing except the aircraft eventually caught fire, but it certainly doesn't tell us why it did," he said.

"It was an incredibly hot day, it was very nearly 50 degrees.

"If you get a damaged wing and fuel comes out of it, it vaporises in temperatures like that and vapour is highly inflammable."

He said temperature was "very likely" to have been a factor and the crash should not prompt concerns about the safety of the plane.

"There have been accidents where 777s have been very badly damaged during a landing and yet we haven't had a fire like that," he said.

Mr Learmount said the crew acted in line with protocol by evacuating all passengers.

"If there is a fire or a risk of a fire, then the drill for every crew for every aeroplane flight in the world is to get the passengers off very fast, because if you don't it's a disaster," he said.

"Did they do well? No, they did what they were paid for."

The cause of the equipment failure is under investigation.

Data recorded by the Flightradar24 website showed the flight appeared normal until the landing, cruising at 36,000ft before beginning a gradual descent

All departures have been suspended at Dubai International Airport until further notice, with long delays and diversions expected.

Emirates also warned of a "network-wide" delay lasting four hours, although the reason was unclear.

Source Irish Independent

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