Emirates flight from Thiruvananthapuram crash-lands at Dubai airport, all on board safe

Passengers and crew of an Emirates flight from the Southern Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram en route to Dubai had a miraculous escape when the Boeing 777 aircraft crash-landed at the Dubai International Airport and burst into flame.

There were 282 passengers and 18 crew members on board, Emirates EK251 flight, the airlines said, adding that all of them were safely evacuated before the plane caught fire.

While the cause of the accident is not yet known, reports citing specialist reporters said images of the airliner indicate that the front landing gear could have collapsed and that the plane slid. That would possibly lead to a fire, he said.

With the stricken jet lying on the tarmac with part of the fuselage missing, all flights departing from Dubai had been delayed until 5 pm local time and all incoming flights are being diverted to other airports, the Dubai government media office tweeted on its official account.

Emirates said it expected an 8-hour network-wide delay in its operations.

Dubai (DXB), currently the busiest international airport for international passengers, handles 200,000 passengers a day, while Dubai-based Emirates is the largest airline in the world by available seat kilometers (ASK) - the measure of an airline's passenger carrying capacity - which multiplies seats available by distance flown.

Emirates, which began operations in 1985, has never had a fatal accident with any of its aircraft.

"Our main priority at this time is the safety and wellbeing of all involved and full co-operation is being extended to the authorities and emergency services managing the situation," the statement read.

Boeing, meanwhile, released a statement saying it was aware of the Emirates Airline Flight EK521 accident in Dubai. "We are thankful all aboard were evacuated safely. A Boeing technical team is standing by to launch in support of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board," it said.