Praises and tribute to firefighter who died rescuing EK521 passengers

Praises and tribute poured into the young Emirati firefighter who died in the line of duty while rescuing passengers of the Emirates Airline that crashed landed in Dubai recently after a fire engulfed it in midair while flying from India. With plumes of thick black smoke, the pilot managed to crash land the Boeing 777 at the Dubai International Airport around 12:45 pm. All 282 passengers and 18 crew safely landed. Firefighters from the UAE Civil Defense immediately responded to the scene to put off the fire and help the passengers, but one of them, Jassim Issa Al Balooshi, died in the rescue efforts. H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, paid tribute to Al Balooshi during a press conference hastily called recently in Dubai. Operations at the Dubai International Airport, which hosts more than 200,000 passengers on a daily basis, resumed around 6:30 pm of the same day. Sheikh Ahmed said, “Emirates is working with competent authorities to establish the cause of the accident.” Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, offered his sincere condolences and sympathy to the family and friends of Al Balooshi, whom he described as a martyr of the nation. "We offer our condolences to the family and friends of the martyr of the nation, firefighter, Jassim Issa Al Balooshi. And we ask God to bestow patience and solace on his bereaved family,” Sheikh Mohammed said on his Twitter account along with a photo of the firefighter. "As far as our grief on Jassim, however, we are proud of our youth and their sacrifices while performing their duties in protecting the lives and saving people. This country has men to be proud of,” he added. In Abu Dhabi, officials also turned to Twitter to express their sympathies to Al Balooshi, hailing his heroism for the sake of others. H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, described Al Balooshi as “a martyr of the nation” who will “remain a symbol of manhood and sacrifice.” The official also thanked Sheikh Ahmed for successfully dealing with the mishap. "I thank my brother Ahmed bin Saeed, Emirates Airlines, and all the crew on demonstrating an integral teamwork that led to the successful dealing with the crash landing,” he said. H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, praised all competent authorities for demonstrating the high professionalism on dealing with Emirates Airline plane's crash landing. “We thanked God for the safety of all Emirates Airlines' plane passengers, and also thanked all the competent authorities on demonstrating the high professionalism in dealing with the situation,” he said. Passengers also turned to various social media accounts to express relief for their safe landing. The plane departed at 10.19 am from Trivandrum International Airport and was scheduled to land at 12.50 pm Wednesday at Dubai International Airport. The passengers and crew are mostly from India. Others are from the UK, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, the US, Turkey, Ireland, Australia, Brazil, Germany, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Croatia, Egypt, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Lebanon, South Africa, Switzerland and Tunisia.