Ground staff, who were on duty at the time, said that the incident occurred whilst the MEA A330-200, registered OD-MEA, was being pushed back from the gate. It remains unknown exactly how it unfolded, but early reports suggest that ground staff turned the A330 too early; thus resulting in the collision with the Turkish B777-300/ER (registered TC-LJC).
One airport worker disagreed however, saying that the MEA pilots were not aware of their surroundings. They said that, at the time, the pilots were in direct contact with the ground staff. This employee said that it was caused by negligence from the MEA pilots.
Following the incident, many reported a large uproar on the ground. Initial scenes were those of confusion and blame. Furthermore, some ground staff suggested that both MEA and Turkish Airlines were carrying out commercial flights disguised as repatriation flights.