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FlyDubai Flight 981 crashes at Rostov Airport in Russia, 62 dead

2016 03 19

A FlyDubai passenger plane carrying 62 people has crashed at Rostov-on-Don Airport in southwest Russia after a flight from Dubai, Russian authorities say. There are no survivors.

The accident happened at about 3:50 a.m. local time on Saturday when the Boeing 737-800 aircraft crashed at Rostov-on-Don Airport, which is located near the city that carries the same name, about 115 kilometers (72 miles) east of the border with Ukraine.

The local office of the Ministry of Emergency Situations in Rostov Oblast said the aircraft had aborted its first landing attempt because of bad weather conditions in the area, and the aircraft crashed near the runway during a second attempt. The cause was not immediately known.

The airliner was carrying a total of 55 passengers, most of whom are believed to have been Russian citizens, as well as 7 crew members, according to Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia's Investigative Committee. There were no survivors.

Markin added that the Investigative Committee has opened a criminal investigation into the cause of Saturday's accident for possible violations of aviation safety rules. Such a probe is a standard procedure when an accident results in mass casualties.

Data from flight-tracking websites showed that Flight 981 had departed Dubai International Airport at 10:38 p.m. local time on Friday and was due to land at Rostov-on-Don Airport at 3:49 a.m. local time. The aircraft aborted its first landing attempt at the last moment and remained in a holding pattern for an hour until it crashed during a second attempt.

FlyDubai confirmed in a statement that Flight FZ981 had crashed on landing and that a number of people had been killed. "We are doing all we can to gather information as quickly as possible. At this moment our thoughts and prayers are with our passengers and our crew who were on board the aircraft," the airline said in a statement.

The Russian news agency TASS, citing a source in the emergencies ministry, said at least 11 foreigners were on board the plane, but there was no immediate word on their nationalities.


Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.


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