ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — An Emirates flight en route from southern India caught fire after apparently skidding as it landed at Dubai International Airport Wednesday.
Dramatic images showed a burst of flames and then thick black smoke billowing from the stricken Boeing 777 shortly after it came to a standstill.
There were no fatalities among the 282 passengers and 18 crew members on board, Emirates said.
“Emirates can confirm that today, 3 August 2016, flight EK521 traveling from Trivandrum International Airport in Thiruvananthapuram, India to Dubai has been involved in an accident at Dubai International Airport,” the airline said in a statement.
The aircraft left Trivandrum International Airport at 10:19 a.m. and was scheduled to land at 12:50 p.m. in Dubai.
“Emergency response teams at Dubai Airport have fully extinguished the fire on the Emirates plane and all passengers & crew were safely evacuated,” the Dubai government media office tweeted on its official account.
All flights departing from Dubai have been delayed until 5 p.m. local time and all incoming flights are being diverted to other airports, it added.
Emirates, meanwhile, said it expected a 4-hour network-wide delay in its operations.
While the cause of the accident is not yet clear, CNN aviation correspondent Richard Quest said images of the airliner could indicate that the front landing gear collapsed and that the plane slid. That would possibly lead to a fire, he said.
Emirates, which began operations in 1985, has never had a fatal accident with any of its aircraft.
“Airlines plan for this sort of thing. They have emergency plans in place. The idea is that you have to be able to evacuate an aircraft within 90 seconds if there is an accident on the ground,” said Quest. “And this clearly appears to be what has happened.”
According to Quest, Dubai-based Emirates is the largest airline in the world by available seat kilometers, while Dubai (DBX) is now the busiest international airport for international passengers.