Many tributes have poured in for Dubai International Airport firefighter Jasim Eisa Al Baloushi, who died while responding to the Emirates airline crash-landing in Dubai on Wednesday 3rd August. Al Baloushi, who was 27, has been praised for his sacrifice by the UAE leadership, top officials, his family and ordinary residents.
He died while trying to contain the situation after Emirates Flight EK521 from Thiruvananthapuram, India, crash landed at Dubai International Airport shortly before 1pm and burst into flames. Apparently, part of the aircraft flew off in the blaze, which hit Al Baloushi, leading to his death.
Al Baloushi was buried on Thursday morning not far from the family home in Ras Al Khaimah at the Suleiya graveyard following funeral prayers at Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Mosque.
He was part of the initial Civil Defence force responding to the incident. All 275 passengers and crew on board escaped down emergency shutes and survived with no major injuries reported. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Al Baloushi was the eldest among five siblings – three brothers and two sisters. On Thursday, family and friends said his sacrifice made them and the country proud. Praises were also showered on him by well-wishers on social media from across the UAE and beyond.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, praised Al Baloushi on Twitter, describing men like him as Emiratis who “many generations can be proud of”.
Ahmad Abbas, a cousin of Al Baloushi, who also works in the same Civil Defence force exclusively serving the airport, said he was the last person from the family to speak with him. “I had called him shortly before the incident, saying ‘let’s meet up soon’. I was on my way to work when I heard about the incident and called him many times, but there was no answer