(CNN) – Passengers on an Emirates flight to Brisbane, Australia, were shocked when they saw a large hole in the side of the plane as it was descending.
Those on board an Airbus A380 flying from Dubai to the Australian city noticed the damage as they exited the plane after the nearly 14-hour flight on July 1.
Pictures of the plane, which were circulated on social media, reveal the extent of the puncture caused by the tire exploding due to a “technical malfunction” during the flight, according to the airline.
One passenger on the plane described the “horrific” incident on Twitter, which occurred “while sailing at altitude”.
“It was very terrifying at first and the crew knew something dangerous could happen – they immediately called the cockpit,” wrote Andrew Morris, a professor of English at Britain’s Loughborough University.
“After a while, they were back to normal. Their calm demeanor was reassuring: they knew it wasn’t disastrous.”
Although it’s not clear how long the plane was in the air when the problem occurred, some reports suggest it was probably about 45 minutes of flight time.
Emirates Airbus A380 (A6-EVK) departed from Dubai 30L Highway (OMDB), VAE on board # EK430 To Brisbane, Qld, Australia where I landed safely. After landing, a large hole was seen in the left fuselage, allegedly caused by a detached bolt in the nose.https://t.co/o1EqBuJ0bA pic.twitter.com/s4p6tIpXDw
– JACDEC (@JacdecNew) 2 July 2022
The commercial aviation website, Aviation Herald, reported that the crew informed air traffic controllers at Brisbane airport of the situation in advance and requested that the plane be taken care of by emergency services upon landing.
Emirates Airlines later issued a statement confirming that the fracture did not affect “the fuselage, structure or structure of the aircraft.”
“Our flight EK430, which was taking off from Dubai to Brisbane on 1 July, experienced a technical failure,” the statement read.
“One of the aircraft’s 22 tires broke during the cruise, causing damage to a small part of the aerodynamic aerodynamics, the exterior panel or skin of the aircraft.”
The airline went on to confirm that the plane landed safely in Australia, and that passengers disembarked as planned. The damage to the exterior of the widebody aircraft has already been repaired.
Emirates adds: “The exhibition has been completely replaced and has been reviewed and approved by engineers, Airbus and all relevant authorities.”
“The safety of our passengers and crew has always been our top priority.”
The crash came just days after the much-loved giant A380, which was in decline before the pandemic, was pardoned of sorts, when German airline Lufthansa announced plans to redeploy the aircraft from the summer of 2023.
The Airbus A380 has been on its way out since Airbus announced in 2019 that it would stop production of the plane.
CNN has contacted Emirates Airlines for further comments.
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