A fatal plane crash resulting in several deaths has occurred in Russia with emergency services currently in place to attend to families of the victims.
The passenger jet circled a southern Russian airport in high winds and poor visibility before making a second, fatal attempt at landing Saturday, killing all 62 people aboard.
The flydubai Boeing 737 jet crashed at the Rostov-on-Don airport after traveling from Dubai. All those on board died, authorities said. Officials believe bad weather, which kept the plane from reattempting landing for more than two hours, likely caused the crash.
The jet was carrying 55 passengers and seven crew members when it crashed, Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said. It was scheduled to land 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 ), he said.
The airport is closed, and medics and psychologists are on standby to assist family members, he said.
About 700 people are involved in the rescue operation, the Ministry of Emergency Situations said. The crash site is 800 feet (243 meters) from the airport runway, it said.
The ministry said investigators had ruled out terrorism as a cause of the crash at this stage and weather conditions were most-likely responsible.
Emergency staff found one of the plane’s flight recorders amongst the wreckage, state news reported.
The plane’s pilot circled the airport, waiting for the weather to clear before making a second attempt to land, but the aircraft’s tail had clipped the runway, it said.
State media reported winds of 97 kph (60 mph) at the time of the crash.
The Russian Investigative Committee has launched an investigation, and is considering three potential causes, state-run Ria Novosti news agency reported.
“Different versions of the incident are being investigated, including crew error, technical failure, bad weather and other factors,” it quoted committee chief Vladimir Markin as saying.
Workers at the crash scene have both of the plane’s flight data recorders and one of two voice recorders, Ria Novosti reported.