Emirates Airline is under scrutiny after one of its planes, a Boeing 777 carrying nearly 300 people, was forced to crash-land at Dubai International Airport Wednesday.
At about 12:45 p.m. local time, Emirates Airline flight 521, which had departed from Thiruvananthapuram, India, hours earlier, crash-landed and burst into flames in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The airline confirmed that the 282 passengers and 18 crew members on board escaped from the burning fuselage and were evacuated safely. The incident resulted in at least a four-hour delay for the airline's network and the airline said its chief concern was the "safety and well-being of all involved."
Video of the incident reportedly showed a tower of flame bursting from the front of the aircraft, and then a thick black plume of smoke rising into the sky. Emirates Airline has not yet elaborated on the initial cause of the crash.
The crash landing of Emirates flight 521 is not the first accident the airline has had to deal with in its history.
On April 9, 2004, an Emirates Airline Airbus en route from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Dubai was not able to successfully take off before reaching the end of the runway. The aircraft struck 25 approach lights, which caused four tires to burst and launched debris all over the runway.
While the plane did eventually get airborne, the damage the airbus had sustained forced the pilot team to make an emergency landing despite brake failure caused by the initial crash. The aircraft came to a stop just 250 meters from the end of the runway, narrowly avoiding disaster. In a report, South African investigators blamed the flight's pilot for the crash, citing an improper take-off technique and criticizing Emirates Airlines' training program.
Five years later, the airline had a similar accident. On March 20, 2009, Emirates Flight 407 en route from Melbourne to Dubai failed to take off properly at Melbourne Airport. The plane crashed into several structures at the end of the runway before taking off, only to return to the airport for an emergency landing. No one was injured in the incident.