Flydubai plane crashes in Russia; all aboard reported dead
A passenger jet circled a southern Russian airport in high winds and poor visibility before making a second, fatal attempt at landing Saturday, killing all 62 people aboard.
The flydubai Boeing 737 jet crashed at the Rostov-on-Don airport after traveling from Dubai, Russia’s Southern Regional Emergency Center said Saturday.
All those on board Flight FZ981 have died, Russian state news agency Tass reported, citing an official at the emergency center.
Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov told media that the jet had been carrying 55 passengers and seven crew members when it crashed while reattempting to land. It was scheduled to touch down at 1:20 a.m. local time (6:20 p.m. ET), but went down at 3:50 a.m. (8:50 p.m. ET ), Puchkov said.
Rostov-on-Don airport had been closed and teams of medics and psychologists are on standby to give assistant to family members, he said.
The Ministry of Emergency Situations said 700 people were involved in the rescue operation. The site of the crash lay about 800 feet (243 meters) from the airport runway, it said.
It said investigators had ruled out terrorism as a cause of the crash at this stage and that weather conditions were most-likely responsible.
The plane’s pilot had circled the airport, waiting for the weather to clear before making a second attempt to land, but the aircraft’s tail had clipped the runway, the ministry said.
State media reported winds of 97 kph (60 mph) at the time of the crash.