Dubai passenger plane crashes at Russian airport, kills all on board
- FlyDubai flight FZ981 was attempting to land at Rostov-on-Don in Russia
- The aircraft was believed to be making its second attempt when it crashed
- The plane’s tail touched the runway during landing, causing the plane to break down and burst into flames, officials said
- FlyDubai said the plane was carrying 55 passengers ans seven crew
- There were 33 women, 18 men and four children aboard as passengers
- A CCTV camera captured the moment the aircraft exploded on the runway
A FlyDubai Boeing 737-800 has crashed in a fireball while it attempted to land at a Russian airport killing everyone aboard.
Flight FZ981 was carrying 55 passengers and seven crew members from Dubai when it crashed at Rostov-on-Don airport, according to a statement released by FlyDubai. Earlier reports said that 61 people were aboard the flight.
Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said in a statement: ‘The plane made a second round coming in to land because of bad weather conditions.
‘At landing the tail touched the runway, began to break down and burst into flames. At present, no combustion.’
Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov told media during a press conference that it was scheduled to land at 6.20pm ET, which is 1.20am Moscow time, but crashed at 8.50pm ET, which is 3.50am Moscow time.
The passenger jet was believed to be flying in poor visibility during the landing attempts.
A video published on YouTube appears to show a fireball as the aircraft crashes into the ground.
Footage from FlightRadar 24 shows the aircraft made one attempt to land before it declared a missed approach and circled the airport for a second attempt.
Russian officials confirmed: ‘According to preliminary data, the Boeing 738 crashed in poor visibility conditions, some 50-100 meters left of the runway.’
According to Sputnik News, Russian Emergencies Ministry’s Southern Regional Center’s chief Igor Oder said that most people aboard the plane were residents of the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, but there were also several foreigners aboard as well.
In a third statement released on the airline’s Facebook page, FlyDubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith said: ‘Our primary concern is for the families of the passengers and crew who were on board.
‘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.’
Flight FZ981 included 33 women, 18 men and four children as passengers, according to the airline.
FlyDubai confirmed in a second statement that FZ981 crashed ‘on landing and that fatalities have been confirmed as a result of this tragic accident.’
‘We are doing all we can to gather information as quickly as possible,’ it reads.
‘At this moment our thoughts and prayers are with our passengers and our crew who were on board the aircraft.
‘We will do everything we can to help those who have been affected by this accident.
‘We are putting our emergency response in place and we will be working closely with all the authorities involved.
‘We will share as much information as possible just as soon as we can and we will provide updated information on a regular basis.
‘For any concerned friends or family: + 44 203 4508 853 or +9714 293 4100.’
Boeing issued a statement about Flight FZ981 in the early hours of Saturday morning.
‘Boeing’s thoughts and prayers are with those on board flydubai flight FZ981 and their families and friends,’ the statement reads.
‘Boeing stands ready to provide technical assistance upon the request of government agencies conducting the investigation.
‘In accordance with the international protocol governing aviation accident investigations, all inquiries about the investigation must be directed to investigating authorities.’
Emergency crews are currently working at the crash scene as the fire has already been extinguished.
Roughly 80 rescuers were deployed to the site of the crash, as terrorism as a cause of the crash at this stage has been ruled out, according to CNN.
According to the Associated Press, Vasily Golubev, the governor of the Rostov region was quoted by Russian news agencies as telling local journalists that the plane crashed about 250 meters (800 feet) short of the runway.
— RT (@RT_com) March 19, 2016
Golubev said: ‘By all appearances, the cause of the air crash was the strongly gusting wind, approaching a hurricane level.’
Sputnik News reported that the Russian Investigation Committee has launched a preliminary investigation into the accident.
The budget carrier FlyDubai launched in 2009, with a network of up to 90 destinations. They operate more than 1,700 flights each week.
‘From our hub in Dubai, we strive to remove barriers to travel and enhance connectivity between different cultures across our ever-expanding network,’ a statement on their Facebook page reads.
‘Our agility and flexibility as a young airline has enhanced Dubai’s economic development, in line with the Government of Dubai’s vision, by creating trade and tourism flows in previously under-served markets.’
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) March 19, 2016