The flight was en route from Dubai and crashed during its second landing approach amid poor weather conditions.
Air-traffic control and local emergency services confirmed that the Boeing 737-800 jet crashed near the runway during a second approach in conditions of poor visibility.
“According to preliminary data, the Boeing 738 crashed in poor visibility conditions, some 50-100 meters left of the runway,” the source said.
A video presented by LifeNews reveals the Boeing-737-800 disintegrated on impact. Tiny pieces of the aircraft are scattered over a large part of the runway of Rostov-on-Don’s airport.
CCTV camera footage posted on YouTube claims to have captured the moment of the explosion as the aircraft impacted the ground. However, its authenticity could not be immediately verified.
All crew and passengers on board the plane were killed in the crash, according to the regional Emergencies Ministry.
“During the landing approach a Boeing-737 crashed. It had 55 passengers on board. All of them died,” a regional spokesman told TASS.
“The plane, according to preliminary data, crashed during the second approach,” the source told Interfax.
Spokesman for the southern bureau of Russia’s Investigative Committee, Oksana Kovrizhnaya, has put forward two versions of the crash: “Pilot error in deteriorating weather conditions or a technical failure,” she said.
A flight data recorder has been recovered, RIA Novosti reports.
For the FlyDubai air company, which started operations in 2009, the crash in Rostov-on-Don was the first fatal incident in the company’s history.
Initial reports suggested that all passengers on board were Russians, however the Emergencies Ministry later confirmed that 11 foreigners were on board the flight, including all the crew members.
FlyDubai says the passengers included 44 Russians, eight Ukrainians, two Indians and one Uzbekistani, altogether 55 people.
LifeNews reports citizens of Cyprus (captain), Colombia, Kirgizia, Russia, Spain (2) and the Seychelles were among the crew members.
The company confirmed that there were 62 people on board.
Flight FZ981 from Dubai arrived in Rostov-on-Don at about 1:30am, but due to harsh weather conditions, strong side winds gusting at 25-30 meters per second, it spent the next two hours in the air, picking its moment to land.
As FZ981 was cruising near Rostov-on-Don (ROV), several other flights opted for alternative airports, but the captain of FZ981 decided to wait for a chance to land at ROV.(T/R04/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)