Emirates Plane Crash: How Passengers Evacuated

Emirates Plane Crash: How Passengers Evacuated

Last week an Emirates plane crash-landed in Dubai before bursting into flames that engulfed much of the Boeing 777. Miraculously, all 300 crew and passengers on board survived, primarily because they were able to deplane in less than 90 seconds.

Yet in the wake of the accident, footage has emerged showing several passengers making a key mistake as they exit the plane: opening overhead compartments and attempting to grab their luggage. “Leave your bags behind! Jump and slide, jump and slide,” one crew member can be heard shouting as smoke fills the cabin. Fortunately, even as the aircraft was aflame, all the passengers and crew managed to escape in time. Fourteen people were admitted to the hospital later. However, a firefighter died while trying to douse the fire.

Among the reasons cited so far for helping 282 passengers and 18 crew survive Emirates plane crash landing, the primary explanations are the "miracle" of engineering and a well-trained crew. On the engineering front, it wasn't so much a miracle as it was probably advances in three areas that increased survivability:

  • Planes must be evacuated within 90 seconds, a feat flight attendants are rigorously trained to achieve. That means passengers have a fighting chance to flee an airplane before fire and smoke can engulf it.
  • Also, the plastics and fabrics aboard airplanes aren't engineered just to resist fire. They also don't produce toxic fumes when they do burn. That wasn't always the case-smoke can be even more deadly than flames in an airplane crash. Airplanes built after 1990 must also meet standards on is released from materials in a fire and the density of smoke the fire produces.
  • Lastly, all seats on modern planes such as the 777 are designed to withstand extreme forces up to 16 times the force of earth's gravity. Connections have also been strengthened so that seats do not break loose from the floor in a crash.

Emirates chairman Ahmed Saeed Al Maktoum said that the trouble with the flight was "operational", adding he did not believe there was any security issue. "I want to thank the crew for their professionalism and evacuating the plane in a short time," Sheikh Ahmed said.

Emirates Plane Crash: How Passengers Evacuated
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