x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

GCAA: No explosion in Dubai cargo plane crash

There was no explosion on board the UPS cargo plane which crashed in Dubai in September, the UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority announces.

There was no explosion on board the UPS cargo plane which crashed in Dubai in September, the UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has announced, after an investigation.

The GCAA said the investigations conducted after the retrieval of the two black boxes show there is no evidence to support the hypothesis of an explosion in the plane.

However, GCAA said it would take the claim of an explosion seriously and investigate.

On Friday, al Qa'eda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed that it had planted a bomb on a jumbo jet belonging to US delivery giant UPS near Dubai airport on September 3, and that the authorities had kept the cause of the crash quiet.

"We downed the plane belonging to the American UPS company, but because the media of the enemy did not attribute responsibility for this work to us we kept quiet about the operation until the time came that we hit again," it said.

On October 28, the group said, it placed bombs on flights operated by UPS and FedEx. The bombs were intercepted in Dubai and in England before they could explode.

Earlier investigations on the Dubai crash pointed to smoke or a fire erupting on the plane, and experts from the GCAA said they had eliminated the possibility of an onboard explosion.

In its statement today, the GCAA said: "investigations carried out after recovery of all the information in the two black boxes showed that there was no evidence, either from conversations or data, of an explosion on board the aeroplane."

Soon after takeoff, the pilots reported smoke in the cockpit and difficulty in maintaining altitude, and attempted to fly back to Dubai airport to land, a previous GCAA statement said. But the aircraft's approach was too high, and it flew over the airport and made a right turn before quickly shedding altitude and losing radar contact, less than an hour after takeoff.

Both pilots were killed when the airplane crashed at a military base on the outskirts of Dubai.

* AFP and WAM