Fire on board Emirates aircraft forces landing
A blaze on board an Emirates Airline flight resulted in passengers being stranded in a Chinese city for more than a day.
The airline has apologised for the incident, in which flight EK308, from Dubai to Beijing, was diverted to Urumqi, Northwestern China on Monday because of a fire in the aircraft’s hold.
The plane landed safely at 9.08pm local time and passengers were put up in hotels and given connecting flights to Beijing.
“Emirates apologises for the inconvenience caused, however the safety of our customers and staff is of the utmost priority and will not be compromised,” the airline said in a statement.
The flight had 270 people on board when lights in the cockpit showed that there was a fire in the cargo hold. The plane’s anti-fire system was activated and the crew made an emergency landing. Chinese safety officials found several burned bags in the cargo hold. They are working on the assumption that batteries found in a suitcase may have caught fire.
One passenger told 7DAYS: “We didn’t see any trace of the fire, it was largely business as normal. There was a slightly urgent message from the captain asking to see a purser and about 15 minutes later we were told there was a technical problem that meant we had to divert.”