An Emirates plane, which headed it way from India, caught fire after crushing onto the runway in Dubai on Wednesday. That brings the world's busiest international airport to a halt for several hours.
"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.
All 282 passengers and 18 crew were safely evacuated from the Boeing 777-300 after a crash that one survivor described as terrifying. Fourteen people suffered minor injuries when the plane crashed after landing and were admitted to hospital Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said. The majority of those on board were Indian nationals, it added.
The Dubai carrier's first significant accident happened after the crew apparently attempted to abort the landing for a second attempt amid unconfirmed witness reports of landing gear problems.
"It was actually really terrifying. As we were landing there was smoke coming out in the cabin," said passenger Sharon Maryam Sharji. "People were screaming and we had a very hard landing. We left by going down the emergency slides and as we were leaving on the runway we could see the whole plane catch fire. It was horrifying."
A firefighter, identified as Jassim Essa Al-Baloushi, was killed "while saving the lives of others," the Dubai government's media office said. Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tweeted residents were "proud of our youth and their sacrifices while performing their duties in protecting lives and saving people."
Safety experts said it was too early to pinpoint a cause for the crash, but Sheikh Ahmed ruled out any security breach. Also images of the airliner could indicate that the front landing gear collapsed and that the plane slid. That could have sparked the fire.
All flights departing from Dubai International Airport were delayed for several hours, and all incoming flights were being diverted to other airports, the Dubai government media office tweeted.
By Wednesday evening, departure flights had resumed, the media office said.