News World Airliner plummeted 3000 feet in 15 seconds
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Airliner plummeted 3000 feet in 15 seconds

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AP
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An airliner carrying 62 people from Dubai has crashed while landing in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don in strong winds, killing all on board.

A list published by Russia’s Emergencies Ministry on Saturday showed the Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 was carrying 55 passengers and seven crew members.

No Australians were among the dead on the airliner, which reportedly plummeted 3000 feet in just 15 seconds.

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Igor Oder, head of the Emergencies Ministry’s southern regional operations, said in a televised briefing that all had been killed.

The plane belonged to the budget carrier FlyDubai. In a statement on its Facebook page, FlyDubai confirmed that flight FZ981 crashed on landing and all on board had been killed.

“While we are still awaiting final confirmation, it is with great sadness that we report we believe there are no survivors,” the statement read.

Flydubai’s CEO Ghaith al-Ghaith told a press conference in the Gulf Arab emirate that it was “too early” to determine the cause of the crash.

“We will have information about the circumstances of the incident and the black box in the future, and an investigation is being conducted in cooperation with the Russian authorities and we are waiting to see the results,” Ghaith said.

Dubai’s civil aviation authority said it was sending an investigative team to Russia, president Ismail al Hosani told reporters.

The plane was in a mid-air holding pattern for about two hours and the crash occurred more than two hours after the plane, flight number FZ981, was scheduled to land.

Of the 55 passengers, 33 were women, 18 were men and four were children.

There were 44 Russians, eight Ukrainians, two Indians and one person from Uzbekistan on board the flight.

Vasily Golubev, the governor of the Rostov region some 950 kilometres south of Moscow, was quoted by Russian news agencies as telling local journalists that the plane crashed about 250 metres short of the runway. News reports said the plane caught fire after the crash.

A Russian Emergency Situations Ministry employee, left, tries to comfort a relative of the plane crash victims at the Rostov-on-Don airport. Photo: AAP
A Russian Emergency Situations Ministry employee, left, tries to comfort a relative of the plane crash victims at the Rostov-on-Don airport. Photo: AAP

The cause of the crash was not immediately determined, but Golubev said: “By all appearances, the cause of the air crash was the strongly gusting wind, approaching a hurricane level.”

State news agency Tass said weather data from the area indicated that winds were anywhere from 14 to 22 metres per second at the time of the crash and that there was light rain.

Ian Petchenik, a spokesman for the flight-tracking website Flightradar24, told The Associated Press that the plane missed approach then entered a holding pattern and tried to land again before contact was lost.

Russian news reports said most of those aboard were Russian tourists but there were unspecified foreigners aboard as well.

FlyDubai is a budget airline launched in 2008 by the government of Dubai, the Gulf commercial hub that is part of the seven-state United Arab Emirates federation. Its first flight took to the skies in 2009.

A video purporting to be CCTV footage of the crash was leaked online, but is yet to be verified.

Warning: disturbing content

– with AAP

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