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Russia plane crash: Dozens killed in Rostov-on-Don
Saturday, 19 March 2016 00:00

aircraftA passenger jet has crashed in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, killing all 55 passengers and seven crew on board, officials say.

The FlyDubai Boeing 737-800, coming from Dubai, missed the runway as it attempted to land at 03:50 local time (00:50 GMT) on Saturday.

It is not clear what caused the crash but poor visibility and high winds are being considered as a factor.

Most of the victims were Russian. Four children were among the dead.

FlyDubai said 44 Russians, eight Ukrainians, two Indians and an Uzbek were killed. All were passengers.

The head of the airline, Ghaith al-Ghaith, said the pilot was a Cypriot and the co-pilot was a Spaniard.

Russian authorities had earlier said all but one of the crew were Russian.

'Sky turned red'

"The aircraft hit the ground and broke into pieces," the Investigative Committee of Russia said on its website.

A witness, named Yana, told AFP news agency: "My whole house shook. I looked out into the yard and the sky was all red - it was a shade of red that I have never seen."

Reports say the plane abandoned its initial attempt to land and circled for two hours before crashing at the second attempt.

Air disasters timeline

It came down about 250m (800ft) short of the start of the runway in Rostov, some 950km (600 miles) south of Moscow.

About 700 rescue workers were sent to the site of the crash and the fire was extinguished, media reports said.

Both the plane's flight data recorders have been found and an investigation has been opened into the cause of the crash.

Other flights have been diverted away from the airport.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the airliner confirmed the "tragic accident" and said an emergency response has been put in place.

Boeing said on Twitter its team was working to gather more details.

FlyDubai, a low cost carrier launched in 2009 with a hub in Dubai, operates flights to some 90 destinations.


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