Emirates passenger jet catches fire in Dubai; firefighter killed

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 3 (UPI) — Emirates airline Flight EK521 crash-landed at the Dubai International Airport on Wednesday, catching fire and billowing smoke with 300 people on board. A firefighter was killed battling the blaze.

“The General Civil Aviation Authority says a firefighter lost his life battling the blaze of Emirates plane while saving the lives of others,” the Government of Dubai Media Office said in a statement.

The Emirates Group CEO Ahmed bin Saeed said 13 people sustained minor injuries but were released after brief medical treatment.

“We pay tribute to the firefighter who lost his life fighting the blaze. We thank all teams that dealt with the incident,” Saeed said during a press conference. “Evacuation procedures were executed professionally. Cabin crew were the last to leave the plane.”

The incident was confirmed by Emirates airline through Twitter.

“Emirates can confirm that an incident happened at Dubai International Airport on 3rd August 2016 at about 12:45 p.m. local time,” the company said on social media, adding that there were 282 passengers and 18 crew on board. “We can confirm that there are no fatalities among our passengers and crew. All passengers and crew are accounted for and safe.”

“The main priority remains with those involved and offering support to concerned family and friends,” the airline added.

The Dubai government said that “Emirates crew and emergency teams at Dubai Airport are well trained to deal with such incidents at the highest professional standards.”

The Boeing 777 flew out of the southern Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram.

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