Russia, FlyDubai Crash

March 19, 2016 by  

Russia, FlyDubai Crash, A Boeing 737-800 passenger jet operated by the low-cost airline FlyDubai has crashed while attempting to land in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.

All 62 people on board, 55 passengers and seven crew members, were killed when the plane crashed and burst into flames early on Saturday morning, Russian officials said.

The plane, which had flown from Dubai, had been circling the airport for up to two hours after an initial aborted landing attempt, according to Russian news reports. There were high winds in the area at the time.

The plane was coming in for a second attempt to land at 0043 GMT when it plunged to the ground and burst into flames. The crash occurred inside the airport’s perimeter, about 250 metres short of the runway.

Footage shown on local media showed a huge fireball erupting from the crash site. The authorities took more than an hour to get the blaze under control, the emergencies ministry said. More than 500 rescuers and 60 vehicles were dispatched to the crash site.

Investigators said the poor weather conditions and pilot error were possible reasons for the crash. Russian media reported that an Aeroflot flight due to land at a similar time chose to fly to a different airport due to the weather conditions in Rostov.

Rostov’s governor, Vasily Golubev, said: “It looks like the reason was the strong gusts of wind, reaching hurricane levels.”

However, the agency LifeNews reported that a Ural Airlines plane landed at Rostov and then took off again while the FlyDubai plane was circling. It quoted the plane’s pilot as stating that the weather conditions were not easy, but nothing unusual or dangerous.

The Emirates-based FlyDubai confirmed that flight FZ981 had crashed on landing.

The airline said it was in the process of verifying the passenger list but provisional information indicated there were 33 women, 18 men, four children and seven crew on board.

The airline has confirmed the nationalities as 44 Russian, eight Ukrainian, two Indian, and one person from Uzbekistan.

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