A FlyDubai airliner crashed while attempting to land in the southern Russian city Rostov-on-Don on early Saturday, according to Russian authorities. The Investigative Committee of Russia has confirmed that all 55 passengers and 7 crew members aboard the Boeing 737-800 aircraft have died.
FlyDubai is a low-cost airliner based in Dubai; this plane was flying from Dubai to Rostov-on-Don, a short flight.
The plane crashed several hundred feet short of the runway, Charles Maynes reports from Sochi for our Newscast unit.
The majority of the victims were believed to be Russians returning from holiday trips, Charles says.
A video from CCTV shows what looks like a plane being engulfed in fire. The clip was also tweeted by Russia’s state-run RT network.
Data released by the flight tracking site Flightradar24 shows the plane rerouted several times near the airport before the crash landing.
Adverse weather conditions are being looked at as a factor. The Associated Press says TASS Russian News Agency reported high winds of 30 to 50 miles per hour when the crash took place, while light rain that may have contributed to poor visibility.
So far, Russian investigators don’t appear to be focusing on terrorism as a cause. In October, all passengers died in an Egypt-to-Russia flight crash. Shortly after the crash, Russian authorities denied ISIS’ claim of responsibility. But since then the cause of the crash has been disputed: while Egypt has said there’s no sign of a terrorist act, Russia has declared that the plane was brought down by a bomb.
As investigations into Saturday’s crash continue, Russian President Vladimir Putin has given his condolences, saying the priority is to assist the relatives of those killed.