Russian investigators probing the crash of a Dubai airliner in southern Russia that killed all 62 people on board have found one of the plane’s flight recorders.
The Boeing 737-800 operated by FlyDubai was carrying 55 passengers, most of them Russian, and seven crew members of various nationalities when it crashed Saturday in the city of Rostov-on-Don while trying to land in strong winds.
Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said there were no survivors. Four children were among those killed, FlyDubai said.
Vladimir Markin, the spokesman for the Investigative Committee, said experts have found the cockpit conversation recorder and are continuing the search for another one which records parameters of the flight.
The crash’s cause wasn’t immediately known, but officials suggested it could have been caused by a gust of wind.
“The aircraft hit the ground and broke into pieces,” the Investigative Committee of Russia said in a statement on its website. “According to preliminary data, there were 55 passengers aboard and 7 crew members. They all died.”
The plane’s wing hit the ground on its second landing attempt and burst into flames, the Rostov region emergency ministry said in a statement.
The region’s governor, Vasily Golubev, said bad weather – strong, gusting wind in the Rostov area – was the primary line of investigation for the crash, but Zhanna Terekohova, an adviser to the Russian transport minister, said pilot error could also be a factor.
The plane came down inside the airport’s perimeter, about 250 meters (yards) short of the start of the runway.
Grainy pictures from a security camera pointing toward the airport, which were broadcast on Russian television, showed a large explosion at ground level, with flames and sparks leaping high into the air.
The Dubai Media Office says those killed in the crash of the FlyDubai Boeing 737-800 in Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia include 44 Russians, eight Ukrainians, two Indians and one person from Uzbekistan.
The media office offered condolences on behalf of the entire United Arab Emirates for those who lost loved ones.
On Twitter, the office says the entire UAE, a federation of seven emirates, offered “its deepest condolences to the families of the victims & to the Russian government & people.”
The Dubai Media Office works under Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who also serves as the UAE’s prime minister.
FlyDubai is saying there are no survivors from its plane crash in Russia.
The budget carrier made the announcement in a statement released Saturday morning.
It said: “While we are still awaiting final confirmation, it is with great sadness that we report we believe there are no survivors.”
It says of the 55 passengers on board, 33 were women, 18 men and four children; there were seven crew members at the time of the crash in Rostov-on-Don.
The airline’s CEO Ghaith al-Ghaith said in a statement: “Our primary concern is for the families of the passengers and crew who were on board. Everyone at FlyDubai is in deep shock and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those involved.”