FlyDubai plane crashes in Russia, killing all on board

At least 62 passengers and crew have died after a FlyDubai plane crashed during an attempted landing in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, Russian officials said.

A Russian investigative committee confirmed in a statement that all 62 people on board the plane, travelling from Dubai, were killed in the crash on Saturday morning.

“The aircraft hit the ground and broke into pieces,” the Committee said in a statement on its website. “According to preliminary data, there were 55 passengers aboard and 7 crew members. They all died.”

The plane was believed to be a Boeing 737 operated by Emirati airline FlyDubai, a budget airline with a new fleet of planes that started flying in mid-2009.

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In a statement, FlyDubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith, said, “We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the passengers and crew.

“Everyone at flydubai is in deep shock and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those involved. We don’t yet know all the details of the accident but we are working closely with the authorities to establish the cause. We are making every effort to care for those affected and will provide assistance to the loved ones of those on board.”

Boeing tweetedΒ that it was gathering more information.

There was no immediate information on the cause, although some news reports suggested weather could have been a factor.

Reports indicate the plane was in the air for about two hours in between making an initial attempt to land, and the second attempt, when the plane crashed.

Vasily Golubev, the governor of the Rostov region some 950km south of Moscow, was quoted by Russian news agencies as telling local journalists the plane crashed about 250m short of the runway.

The plane’s flight path, as tracked by Flight Radar 24, shows the plane made a number of turns near the Rostov-on-Don airport prior to the final attempted landing.

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It is believed to be the first time a FlyDubai plane has crashed.

In January 2015, a FlyDubai passenger jet was shot at while approaching the Iraq capital Baghdad.