On this photo provided by vk.com/rostovnadonu, Russian emergency fire trucks are seen among the wreckage of a crashed plane at the Rostov-on-Don airport, about 950 kilometers (600 miles) south of Moscow.AP
62 people, including seven crew members, were killed on March 19 when a FlyDubai airliner flying from Dubai to Rostov-on-Don crashed, the Russian Emergency Ministry said.
“During the landing approach a Boeing-737 crashed. It had 55 passengers on board. All of them died,” an official told the TASS news agency.
The plane was scheduled to land at 1:20 am Moscow time, but crashed at 3:50 am, according to media reports.
The Emergency Ministry has deployed 80 rescuers to the site of the crash.
Relatives of passengers of the crashed airliner. Source: Sergey Pivovarov/RIA Novosti
Initial reports suggest that poor visibility led to the crash. The aircraft had circled the airport, waiting for the weather to clear before making a second attempt to land, but the aircraft's tail had clipped the runway, TASS reported.
All passengers on board the aircraft are believed to have been Russian citizens.
UPD at 9:45 a.m. MSK: Some witnesses said they saw a flash of light several seconds before the crash, according to a LifeNews report.
UPD at 10:30 a.m. MSK: Terrorism is not considered among the most likely causes of the crash, a source with emergency services told Interfax.
"This theory is unlikely or even should be ruled out. It is not being considered among the primary causes. It looks like there were some mechanical reasons," he said.
UPD at 12:09 a.m. MSK: Emergency services have found the flight recorders, Zhanna Terekhova, and adviser to the Russian transport minister, said on the Rossiya-24 (VGTRK) television channel.
"The plane's black boxes have been found, and therefore a decision on when to analyze them will be made as early as today. It's going to be clear after that what happened to the plane and whether a pilot error or weather conditions are to blame," Terekhova said.
At the same time, a source from regional security services told Interfax that only one of the two flight recorders had been found at the crash site, and the other one was still being searched for.
"The search of the second black box is under way now, the first one has already been found. The crash site is being examined," the source said.
Numerous body parts of the crash victims have been found at the site. Forensic medical experts are working there, he said.
UPD at 1:00 pm Moscow time: Search and rescue teams have found the second flight data recorder, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said.
UPD at 3:15 pm Moscow time: Adverse weather conditions might have been the primary cause of the crash, Rostov region Governor Vasily Golubev said.
"I think poor weather is the most likely cause, after all. The Investigative Committee is continuing its work and is likely to air its opinion, but it was suggested at the crisis center's first meeting that it appears to be bad weather," Golubev said on the Rossiya-24 (VGTRK) television channel.
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