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Dubai Plane Crash Image From 2016 Falsely Linked to UAE Drone Attack

The 2016 photo shows a plane crash in Dubai, not the recent attack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

3 min read
Dubai Plane Crash Image From 2016 Falsely Linked to UAE Drone Attack
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A photograph of an airplane on the ground, surrounded by thick billowing smoke and a few vehicles, is being shared on social media, where users are linking it to the drone attack that happened in Abu Dhabi on Monday, 17 January.

Rebels belonging to Yemen's Houthi movement claimed responsibility for the attack which claimed three lives, of which two were Indian nationals.

However, we found that the photo is from a plane crash which took place in Dubai in 2016, when an Emirates aircraft, that departed from Kerala with 300 passengers on board safely crash landed at Dubai International Airport.



Many social media users are sharing the image with text that carries details of the Houthi attack in UAE.

An archived versionthis post can be seen here.


Archived versions of more claims with the same image on Facebook can be seen here and here, while those on Twitter can be seen here, here, and here.



A simple reverse image search led us to several news reports which showed that the reports were from August 2016.

In one such report, Times of India reported that the flight had originated from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and crash landed at Dubai International Airport around 12:45 PM local time on 3 August 2016.

The incident happened on 3 August,2016.

(Source: TOI/Altered by The Quint)

Emirates confirmed that flight EK521 had been involved in an accident and that there were no fatalities as all 282 passengers and 18 crew members were safe.

As per the Indian Express' report, 226 of those onboard were Indians. The airline later ensured that all passengers on EK521 would receive financial compensation of $7,000 each.

The daily, too, carried the same image which was credited to news agency PTI. We found the image on the archives of the news agency.

We found the photo in PTI's archives.

(Source: PTI/Altered by The Quint)

The Quint had also carried the story, adding that one firefighter had been killed while battling the blaze and that flights were diverted from the airport for six hours after the incident.

We also observed that the viral photo was morphed to add a few small aircrafts to the upper-left side of the photograph. These objects are not seen in the original photos of the 2016 incident.

The small aircrafts are absent in the originalphoto.

(Source: Facebook/TOI/Altered by The Quint)


Two sites in Abu Dhabi were attacked on Monday, 17 January. The attacks, which was claimed by Houthi rebels from Yemen, claimed three lives and injured six.

While UAE's Foreign Affairs minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan condemned the "unlawful targeting" of their country, Houthi spokesman Yahya Saree said that they had carried out a "successful military operation" using ballistic missiles and drones against "important and sensitive" sites and installations in the Emirates.

Clearly, a 2016 photo of an Emirates plane crash in Dubai was falsely linked to the recent attack in Abu Dhabi, UAE that claimed three lives.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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Topics:  UAE   Drones   Abu Dhabi 

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