Four dead after Dubai International Airport small plane crash
TheNationalUAE -

Four people died when a small plane crashed near to Dubai International Airport on Thursday evening.

It is thought two pilots and two passengers were killed when the Diamond DA42 aircraft came down about 7.30pm due to a malfunction, officials said.

The General Civil Aviation Authority said three of the dead were British and one was South African. It said the aircraft was British registered.

It said the aircraft came down about 5km south of the airport. Officials said two were pilots and suggested two were passengers.

It is believed that the passengers were flying to "calibrate terrestrial navigation systems" as the airport, which is undergoing work.

Dubai International Airport - the world's busiest by international traffic - diverted some flights between 7.36pm and 8.22pm.

The transit hub put other planes in a holding pattern over the Gulf and over land near the airport.

The circumstances of the accident are not yet known, nor is it clear if their aircraft was taking off or landing when it happened.

Government of Dubai Media Office: An accident involving a small plane with 4 passengers occurred resulting in the death of the pilot and his assistant. The relevant teams are on the scene.

— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) May 16, 2019

Officials identified the plane as a four-seat DA42 model, a twin-engine propeller plane manufactured by Austrian company Diamond Aircraft Industries.

"An accident involving a small plane with four passengers occurred resulting in the death of the pilot and his assistant. The relevant teams are on the scene," Dubai Media Office said.

"The small plane... had four passengers on board, when it crashed due to a technical malfunction."

State news agency Wam said at 8.52pm that all operations were back up and running.

"Dubai Airports can confirm that operations at Dubai International were suspended from 19.36pm to 8.22pm UAE local time due to an incident involving a small non-commercial aircraft in the vicinity of the airport," an airport spokesman said.

Dubai International is currently operating as a reduced capacity due to works on one of its runways.

Large amounts of traffic are being diverted to Dubai World Central, the city's second airport located close to the Expo 2020 site.

Dubai International has one of the safest records of any major airport.

The only other major incident in recent years was when Emirates Flight 521, from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala crashed on the runway of Dubai International Airport on August 3, 2016. All 300 passengers and crew survived, with 30 taken to hospital, mostly with minor injuries or for precautionary check-ups.

The fuel tank of the Boeing 777 exploded in an ensuing blaze, killing firefighter Jassim Al Baloushi, 27, from Ras Al Khaimah.

Government of Dubai Media Office: All operations at the Dubai airport are running smoothly after a slight delay and diversion of some flights as a precautionary measure to ensure security following a minor incident involving a small plane.#wamnews

— WAM News / English (@WAMNEWS_ENG) May 16, 2019

The following flights were cancelled or delayed:

Multan flight PA810 delayed, from 5.10pm until 10.10pm

Bahrain Gf578 cancelled 8.15pm

Chongqing Jiangbei CA451 due 9.10pm due 10.23 pm

Kathmandu FZ576 due 10.45pm expected 11.53

Bologna EK094 due 11.30pm due 12.01am

Updated: May 16, 2019 11:28 PM

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