Most of the passengers were tourists. A passenger Fly Dubai Boeing-737-800 en route from Dubai to Russia’s Rostov-on-Don in Southern Russia, crashed at the city airport missing the runway amid poor visibility, an emergency responder source said on Saturday. All passengers and crew members reportedly died.
The source says that about 61 passengers, including 4 children, were onboard the crashed plane. They all died, according to the source.
“According to preliminary information, the Boeing-737 fell amid poor visibility conditions 50-100 meters (164-328 feet) left of the runway,” the source said.
According to the source, the poor visibility caused by heavy rain could have been the likely cause of the crash.
The source said that according to preliminary information, the plane was from the Dubai Aviation Corporation (Flydubai).
The airport of Rostov-on-Don is closed due to the crash of this passenger aircraft, a Boeing-738 that was en route from Dubai, according to an airport spokesperson.
“The airport is closed until 06:00 MSK,” a spokesman said.
A spokesman for the southern bureau of Russia’s Investigative Committee, Oksana Kovrizhnaya, has put forward two versions of the crash: “Pilot error in deteriorating weather conditions or a technical failure,” she said.
For the FlyDubai air company, which started operations in 2009, the crash in Rostov-on-Don was the first fatal incident in the company’s history.
The FlyDubai company has issued an official statement about flight FZ981.
“FlyDubai is deeply sorry to confirm the following information in relation to the tragic accident involving flight FZ981 which was flying from Dubai International (DXB) to Rostov on Don (ROV).”
Emergency crews are working at the scene of the crash and have already put out the fire, according to a TASS source.
A flight data recorder has been recovered, RIA Novosti reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed condolences to the relatives and loved ones of the crashed Boeing.
“The Russian president feels deeply for all those who lost their loved ones in the Boeing 737 crash in Rostov-on-Don,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced on Saturday, stressing that the president has made it a priority to provide all possible assistance to the relatives of the victims.
Russia’s Investigative Committee has launched a probe into the incident with preliminary data indicating that the plane disintegrated and caught fire upon touching the ground.
The head of the Emergency Ministry Vladimir Puchkov has held a special meeting, with all the ministry’s efforts, and resources of the local response teams and authorities, directed to the crash site.
There are over 700 response team specialists and about 100 special vehicles operating at the Rostov-on-Don Airport right now.
Relatives of the victims are gathering at the airport, Vasily Golubev, Governor of Rostov region, told media. He stressed that everyone will get sympathetic and personal attention.
Golubev said most of the Russian passengers were tourists.