A reported problem with brakes in the landing gear saw smoke emitting from the Emirates A380 aircraft.

By Naomi DeSouza and Jon Brady Reporter

A double-decker airline caught fire at Birmingham Airport on Tuesday, prompting a large-scale emergency response as passengers waited for help on board.

The Emirates A380 from Dubai to Birmingham was one of the first flights to come in after the Middle Eastern airline suspended its services to the Midlands city during the coronavirus pandemic. But a reported problem with brakes in the landing gear saw smoke emitting from the aircraft after it landed at 12.30pm, and prompted the crew to request help on the ground.

Passengers reported that the aircraft was “surrounded by fire engines”, according to Birmingham Live. Emirates says that it will inspect the aircraft, and that all those on board were safe and well.

Birmingham resident Dr Gurraj Singh said the landing felt like a “near-miss.” Passengers were not allowed to leave the plane for more than an hour while safety checks were carried out.

Dr Singh recalled: “When the landing gear came out, there was a bit of smoke and fire that was noticed. I think it caught fire.

“When they landed, the ground crew noticed and fire engines approached. They didn’t let the plane go further, they stalled, surrounded it and checked for safety.

“The pilot told us the engines had been switched off, that he was going to restart the engine, and await clearance from BHX authorities. They disembarked us from the physical ladders, when we got off the plane the ground crew looked a bit stressed themselves and anxious so I presume it was something major.”

Sharing a picture from inside the plane showing the fin camera, Twitter user @harleenjabs said: “Amazing how this is happening, landing gear on fire. Surrounded by fire engines, flight from Dubai.”

Other flights operating in and out of Birmingham Airport have been unaffected. A spokesperson for the transport hub said: “There was a problem with the brakes on the A380. It looks dramatic but passengers on board were safe at all times albeit inconvenienced. It has now moved.”

An Emirates spokesperson said: “After the safe landing of flight EK 039 from Dubai to Birmingham on July 4, the aircraft vacated the runway and was attended by emergency services and maintenance technicians as there were reports of smoke during taxiing. A technical issue was identified, engines were shut down as a precaution and the aircraft was towed to a remote stand.

“Passengers and crew safely disembarked. The aircraft will undergo inspection. We apologise for any inconvenience. The safety of our passengers and crew is of paramount importance.”