FlyDubai plane crash in Russia kills all on board

FlyDubai plane crash in Russia kills all on board
All 62 people on board the Dubai to Russia flight died when their plane crashed on Saturday while attempting to land in Rostov-on-Don in bad weather.
2 min read
19 March, 2016
Relatives of the victims of the airplane crash mourn at the airport in Rostov-on-Don [Getty]
All passengers on board a Dubai airliner died on Saturday as the plane crashed and burst into flames while landing in southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.

The plane was making a second attempt to land in poor weather conditions when it missed the runway and erupted into a fireball.

The passengers were all Russian nationals, including four children, local news channel LifeNews reported, describing the crew as unspecified "foreigners".

"According to the initial information, there were 55 passengers and seven crew members on board. They are all dead," Russian investigators said.

Footage shown on local media showed a chaotic inferno engulfing a wide area after the plane went down.

The authorities took more than an hour to get the blaze under control, Russia's emergencies ministry said.

More than 500 rescuers and 60 vehicles were dispatched to the crash site.

The plane crashed about 250 metres [800ft] short of the runway, said Vasily Golubev, governor of the Rostov region.

"By all appearances, the cause of the air crash was the strong gusting wind, approaching a hurricane level," Golubev added.

The passenger jet had missed its first approach and tried to land again before contact was lost, said Ian Petchenik, a spokesman for the fight-tracking site Flightradar24.

The site reported that the plane was circling for about two hours before making a second attempt to land.

"Our primary concern is for the families of the passengers and crew who were on board," said the airline's CEO, Ghaith al-Ghaith.

"Everyone at FlyDubai is in deep shock and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those involved," he added.

FlyDubai was launched in 2008 by the government of Dubai, the Gulf commercial hub that is part of the seven-state United Arab Emirates federation.

Its first flight took to the skies in 2009.

The airline has expanded rapidly in Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union.

Dubai is a popular tourist destination for Russian visitors, who are attracted by its beaches, shopping malls and year-round sunshine.

Like other nationalities, many Russian expatriates live and work in Dubai, a city where foreigners outnumber locals more than four-to-one.

Agencies contributed to this report.