This is quite a bone chilling moment. Likes something out of a movie. What would you have done in this situation?
Pilots flying the Emirates jet that smashed into a runway at Dubai airport today may have been trying to abort their landing moments before it crashed with 300 on board, it has been claimed.
Crew reportedly told air traffic controllers they wanted to ‘go around’ – a routine procedure for which pilots are well trained – and abandon the landing, only for the plane to hit the ground hard and come to rest at the end of the runway in a cloud of smoke.
Controllers at Dubai had reminded pilots on the Boeing 777 to lower the landing gear as it came into land, according to the respected Aviation Herald, which monitors air accidents. It is not clear whether the mechanism was extended when the aircraft touched down.
Witnesses say they saw smoke coming from the plane before it touched down at the world’s busiest airport while one expert has suggested the extreme 50C weather today may have been a factor in the crash and there were reports of powerful gusts of wind at the time.
Dramatic footage has emerged of the 300 passengers and crew fleeing for their lives down a runway just minutes before their Emirates jet exploded after crash-landing at Dubai Airport.
All of those on board, including 24 Britons and six Americans, were led to safety at Dubai International Airport, minutes before the Boeing 777 was completely destroyed in a massive fireball. However, one firefighter died while trying to put out the flames and another 10 people were taken to hospital with moderate injuries.
Video shows them sprinting to the safety of a hangar as thick black smoke billows up from the stricken aircraft, which had flown from Trivandrum International Airport in India.
Incredibly, all on board, including the 18 crew, escaped through emergency exits as the cabin filled with smoke and were able to sprint to safety moments before the plane exploded into flames.
Passengers have revealed how the flight came down suddenly before bouncing upwards on landing.
One told Asianet: ‘In no time the cabin was filled with smoke. There was no announcement. The emergency door was forced open. Many of us now feel we have breathing problems because of the smoke.’
Photographs of the incident showed a plane lying crumpled on its belly on the tarmac with black smoke pouring from its upper section while more video shows passengers running to safety at the terminal having been evacuated.
The captain is believed to have sent out and emergency signal in the moments before the plane was preparing to land.
A pilot who witnessed flight EK521 landing told NDTV the plane came in ‘really hard’ and hit the ‘runway tail’. A passenger on another plane said she could see emergency chutes deployed.
Safety experts said it was too early to pinpoint any cause for the crash. Investigators will scour the wreckage and interview pilots, controllers and witnesses for clues to any technical malfunctions, human error or weather-related problems.
All flights to the Dubai terminal have been diverted while emergency crews work at the scene. All take-offs and landings have been suspended with flights due to resume at 3.30pm UK time.
Passengers evacuated from the plane say that minutes before the flight crash-landed at Dubai airport, the pilot made an announcement that he needed to make an emergency landing amid problems with the landing gear.
Cabin crew then opened all the emergency exits of the plane and all 300 passengers and crew on board the aircraft were evacuated ‘within minutes of the landing’.
‘It was actually really terrifying. As we were landing there was smoke coming out in the cabin,’ passenger Sharon Maryam Sharji said.
‘People were screaming and we had a very hard landing. We left by going down the emergency slides and as we were leaving on the runway we could see the whole plane catch fire; it was horrifying.’
Shaji Kochikutty, who was flying with his wife and three daughters, told Xpress: ‘It was a near disaster. God is great. He saved my family and we are grateful to be alive. What more can we ask for?’
‘They [the crew] opened all emergency exits and guided us out. 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.
‘I think we have lost all other belongings [except our passports]. They would have been completely burnt. But that’s not important. We can always replenish these things. But a life lost can never be replaced.’
Ibrahim Thomas from Thiruvananthapuram was sitting in the front row window seat of the flight and said he was lucky to make it out alive.
‘I was sitting in the front row window seat. I saw the right side engine caught fire and then it was in the cabin. In another five minutes the emergency doors were opened by the crew,’ he told MailOnline in a brief phone interview.
When asked if he thought he would die, he replied: ‘Yes, yes, yes.’
Dubai resident Girisankal Gangadhakan said his wife called him after the plane landed to tell him that she and their three children onboard had been involved in an accident but were safe.
‘I was shocked when I heard about that,’ he said.