Dubai: Dubai once again proved that it has highly skilled, motivated personnel who can rise to the occasion and save the day.
They have done it in the past and they did it yesterday when an aircraft came in to land at Dubai airport. These were crucial seconds.
An Emirates aircraft, flying from Thiruvananthapuram in India to Dubai, made an emergency landing at around 12.40pm. There were 282 passengers and 18 crew aboard EK 521, a Boeing 777.
Social media users took to various platforms posting pictures and videos of a stricken aircraft enveloped in thick black and grey smoke. Witnesses were in shock as a blaze raced through the aircraft.
But much before the aircraft had been crippled, the 300 people aboard had been evacuated and taken to safety. The rescue operation was done in a matter of seconds with the precision and efficiency of a highly trained unit.
Rewind to New Year’s Eve — Dubai was preparing to party and the Burj Khalifa was to put on a spectacular fireworks display. The crowds gathered hours before the midnight hour. But then, at around 9.30pm, the unthinkable happened. Flames started to lick Address Hotel and then began to spread through the building. Emergency personnel arrived in seconds. Firefighters evacuated residents, going from floor to floor and then focused on controlling the blaze. Residents and tourists showed tremendous discipline as they quietly watched the drama unfold. There was no panic. Once the fire was doused and everyone accounted for, emergency personnel worked tirelessly to ensure the festivities would not be affected. As the clock struck 12, the party started — the evening was bathed in a symphony of lights. Dubai’s spirit had won again.
Rewind to June 2005 when there was a power blackout in Dubai. Emergency personnel and police took to the streets directing traffic. Doctors and nurses thronged hospitals to ensure no patient was in trouble. Residents helped one another. The spirit of Dubai had triumphed.
Yesterday was a test of nerves and a fight against time. Anything can happen when an aircraft is in trouble. Those crucial seconds could be the difference between life and death. No sooner had the plane touched down than the highly trained airline crew swung into action and emergency personnel arrived to help with the evacuation. The rescue happened in seconds — that’s how precise the response was.
Passengers were taken to safety and attended to immediately. The pictures on social media were testimony to what could have happened. The real story was one of victory; of human spirit; of a team of inspired men and women fighting adversity and winning. Dubai showed its heart and soul once again. We triumphed yet again.