A Boeing from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) crashed on the night of Friday to Saturday at the airport of Rostov-on-Don while trying to land in poor visibility conditions, making 62 dead.
The airline flydubai has confirmed the crash of the Boeing 737-800 to 3 h 42 local time (8 pm 42 Friday Eastern time) on Saturday, announcing the death of its 55 passengers of flight FZ981: 33 women, 18 men and four children.
Among them, “44 Russians, eight Ukrainians, two Indians and an Uzbek,” she said in a statement posted on the social network Facebook.
All seven crew members were killed. A source at the Spanish foreign ministry told AFP that two of them were Spanish and one a Colombian, Russian news agencies saying that the driver was a native of Cyprus.
The Kyrgyz authorities have confirmed that a flight attendant had this Central Asian country.Another crew member was from Seychelles and one was Russian.
The Russian investigative committee said it had found the two black boxes of the aircraft.
The plane “crashed while trying to make a second landing attempt due to bad weather conditions”, said in a statement the Ministry of Emergency Situations.
“He grazed the runway with one of its wings and began to disintegrate,” he said, indicating that fragments of the aircraft were scattered over a distance of one kilometer and half.
Images broadcast by Russian TV channels showed a huge fireball sweep and rise into the sky after the plane crash.
“The whole house started shaking. I looked out the door, the sky was completely red, a color I had never seen, “said AFP a woman living near the crash site.
It took over an hour for firefighters managed to control the fire, and more than 700 rescue workers and a hundred vehicles were dispatched to the scene, the ministry said.
Rescuers continue their work in weather conditions deteriorating, with snow and strong gusty winds.
According to an AFP journalist on the spot, residents of Rostov-on-Don gathered and laid flowers in front of a list of victims posted in the airport terminal.
Weather conditions “terrible”
President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, while the BOI announced a criminal investigation for violation of safety rules and operation of air transport.
“Different versions of the event are being analyzed, including a possible crew error, technical problem on board, harsh weather conditions and other factors,” said the spokesman of the committee Vladimir Markin.
Boeing said it had learned of the crash, saying on Twitter that he had to “gather more information” about the disaster before making an official statement.
It was pouring rain in Rostov-on-Don and alert strong winds had been issued by the local office of the Ministry of Emergency Situations.
The main Russian airline, Aeroflot, has canceled its Saturday and Sunday flights to Rostov-on-Don, and several other companies have redirected their flights to Krasnodar airport, a distance of 300 kilometers.
“The weather conditions were terrible, the plane trembled hideously,” told the LIFEnews chain one of the passengers on a flight that was redirected from Rostov-on-Don to Krasnodar and it landed shortly before the crash of the Boeing.
flydubai, which belongs to the government of Dubai, was born in March 2008. The low-cost airline has experienced strong expansion in the shadow of her older sister, Emirates, the first in the world in terms of international passengers.
The company, which has not had a major accident since its inception, serves 90 destinations within six Dubai flight hours with 50 Boeing 737 fleet.
The last fatal crash of a commercial airliner in Russia dates back to November 2013, when a Boeing 737 crashed Tatarstan company at Kazan airport, causing 50 deaths.
In December 2014, the CEO Christophe de Margerie had died in the crash of his jet at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport, which had killed four people in total.
Russia has recently been overshadowed by another plane crash: October 31, an Airbus A-321 crashed in the Sinai a few minutes after taking off from the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, a crash that cost life of 224 passengers.
Following the attack, Moscow had banned air links between Russia and Egypt, popular tourist destination for Russians.