Warning distressing footage.
A passenger jet has crashed in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, killing everyone on board, officials say.
The FlyDubai Boeing 737-800, coming from Dubai, reportedly missed the runway as it attempted to land at 03:50am local time (00:50 GMT) this morning, The Guardian reports.
All 62 people on board, 55 passengers and seven crew members, were killed when the plane crashed and burst into flames, Russian officials have said.
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According to Russian news reports the plane had been circling the airport for up to two hours after the plane aborted an initial landing attempt, and there were high winds in the area at the time.
The plane was coming in for a second attempt to land when it missed the runway and plunged into the ground before bursting into flames. The crash occurred inside the airport’s perimeter, around 250 metres short of the runway.
CCTV footage shown on local media shows a massive fireball erupting from the crash site. It reportedly took authorities more than an hour to get the fire under control, the emergencies ministry said. More than 500 rescuers and 60 vehicles were dispatched to the crash site.
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The reason for the crash isn’t currently known but investigators have said the poor weather conditions and pilot error are possible reasons for the crash and it’s being reported that another flight due to land at a similar time chose to fly to a different airport because of the weather conditions in Rostov.
Rostov’s governor, Vasily Golubev, has said: “It looks like the reason was the strong gusts of wind, reaching hurricane levels.”
However, the agency LifeNews is reporting that a Ural Airlines plane landed at Rostov and then took off again while the FlyDubai plane was circling. It quoted the plane’s pilot as saying that the weather conditions were not easy, but weren’t unusual or dangerous.
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The airline is now in the process of verifying the passenger list but earlier information indicated there were 33 women, 18 men, four children and seven crew on board. The airline has confirmed the nationalities as 44 Russian, eight Ukrainian, two Indian, and one person from Uzbekistan.
Speaking about the incident Ghaith al-Ghaith, the FlyDubai chief executive, said:
Our primary concern is for the families of the passengers and crew who were on board.
Russian media is now reporting that two black boxes from the plane had been retreived from the crash site and are noe going to be analysed. All flights to Rostov were cancelled on Saturday.