By Sarah Townsend
Civil aviation authority confirms explosion blew out aircraft’s fuselage during fire
Authorities involved in an investigation into the crash landing at Dubai International Airport on Wednesday have said work is under way to retrieve the black box and other data records to determine the cause of the incident, and a report is expected in one month.
The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) issued new details about the investigation in a statement to media on Thursday.
It said the international investigation team is being led by the GCAA’s Air Accident Investigation Sector (AAIS), as well as accredited representatives from the US, where the aircraft was manufactured, and the UK, where its engines were produced.
Representatives from the plane’s manufacturer Boeing, engine manufacturer Rolls Royce, and Emirates Airline will act as advisors to the three main parties participating in the investigation, the GCAA’s statement said.
It said that all aircraft technical records, files and documents concerning the crew are being preserved, while AAIS investigators are working “around the clock” to collect a significant number of additional documents and make them available to the team.
Once the cockpit voice recorders are recovered they will be brought to the GCAA-AAIS laboratory in Abu Dhabi for data analysis, and the aircraft wreckage will be removed to a secure location for examination.
The GCAA is expected to publish the final investigation report “within one month from the accident date”, according to protocol, it added.
Emirates Flight EK521, carrying 300 passengers and crew from Thiruvananthapuram in India, crash landed at Dubai International Airport at around 12.45pm on Wednesday.
The GCAA confirmed in its statement that the fuselage of the aircraft was “consumed by fire” that erupted when the aircraft touched down on the runway. In the course of fighting the fire, it added, “an explosion occurred resulting in the tragic death of a fire fighter”.
All passengers and crew were evacuated safely, Emirates said, while several passengers were treated in hospital for minor injuries.
Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director-general of the GCAA, said: “All of the occupants successfully evacuated the aircraft on the runway, with eight reported injuries.
“The fuselage of the aircraft was consumed by fire. In the course of fighting the fire an explosion occurred which resulted in the tragic death of a fire fighter.
“The General Civil Aviation Authority extends its deepest sympathy to the family of the deceased fire fighter.”transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.