The cause of the crash landing of the Emirates’ Thiruvananthapuram-Dubai flight in Dubai on Thursday with 300 people on board remained 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.