Flydubai Flight FZ981 Crashes on Landing at Rostov-on-Don, Russia


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A passenger jet run by Flydubai under the code FZ981 has crash-landed at Rostov-on-Don airport in southern Russia, killing all 55 passengers and seven crew members on board.

The Investigative Committee of Russia said in a statement on its website that all 62 people on board the plane died when it hit the ground and broke into pieces.

Its investigators were looking into possible causes of the crash, the committee said, including crew error, technical problems and bad weather.

The Boeing 737-800 was en route from Dubai to Rostov-on-Don, a port city close to the border with Ukraine, when it missed the runway amid heavy rain, English-language state news agency Sputnik reported, citing Russian-language state agency RIA Novosti.

According to various reports, the plane was making its second attempt to land in high winds when the tip of a wing hit the ground about 250 meters short of the runway, causing it to catch fire.

Russian news site published a grainy security-camera video that it said showed the crash. The black-and-while footage from a camera apparently pointing toward the runway from across a street showed a bright light speeding toward the ground, then a large explosion, followed by flames.

Reuters reported that one of the flight recorders had since been recovered from the crash site.

Flydubai is a low-cost airline owned by the Dubai Government.

The carrier said in a statement that the passenger group was made up of 44 Russians, eight Ukrainians, two Indians and one Uzbekistani; 33 women, 18 men and four children. Its emergency response team was heading to Rostov-on-Don, with chief executive Ghaith Al Ghaith leading the response to the accident, it said.

“Everyone at flydubai is in deep shock and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those involved,” the CEO said in the statement. “We don’t yet know all the details of the accident but we are working closely with the authorities to establish the cause.”

In January 2015 Flydubai hit the headlines after one of its planes came under first while landing at Baghdad airport. There were no fatalities.

Reuters reported that President Vladimir Putin said that assisting the relatives of the victims was the country’s top priority.

Read more about black boxes here.

Read more about different versions of the crash here.