FlyDubai flight FZ981 has crashed in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. In this incident, all 62 passengers which included 33 women, 4 children and 18 men and crew on board are killed, the airline confirmed. The flight crashed during its second landing approach. The FlyDubai flight FZ981 was en route from Dubai. Air-traffic control and local emergency services confirmed that the plane crash was due to poor weather conditions and not terrorism. The visibility conditions were poor, some 50-100 meters.
The FlyDubai flight FZ981 passengers included 44 Russians, 8 Ukrainians, 2 Indians and 1 Uzbekistani, altogether comprising of 55 passengers.
“The aircraft hit the ground and broke into pieces,” the Committee said. A flight data recorder FlyDubai flight FZ981 crash has been recovered, RIA Novosti reports.
A large explosion at ground level, with flames and sparks leaping high into the air which were broadcast on Russian television, was from a security camera pointing towards the airport.
Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said, FlyDubai flight FZ981 was scheduled to touch down at 1:20 a.m. local time (6:20 p.m. ET), but went down at 3:50 a.m. (8:50 p.m. ET). The airport is to remain closed, and medics and psychologists are sent to help grieving family members. The airport will be closed until at least March 20, 7:00am Moscow time. The inbound flights are rerouted to Krasnodar. In the rescue operation, about 700 people and about 100 special vehicles operating at the Rostov-on-Don Airport are involved, said the Ministry of Emergency Situations.
The plane was operated by Dubai-based carrier FlyDubai. This is first major accident in the history of the airliner. The airline had a strong safety record. However, in January 2015, one of its planes was hit by a bullet as it landed in Baghdad airport. No one was hurt in that incident.