Moscow : At least 62 people -- 55 passengers, seven crew members -- were killed on Saturday when a passenger jet crashed in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, media reports said. Flydubai flight FZ981 was en route from Dubai and crashed while trying to land, RT News reported.
Initial reports put the toll at 61 people with six crew members. "During the landing approach a Boeing-737 crashed. It had 55 passengers on board. All of them died," a regional official told TASS news agency.
Air-traffic control and local emergency services confirmed that the jet was caused due to poor visibility. "According to preliminary data, the jet crashed in poor visibility conditions, some 50-100 metres left of the runway," a source said.
Russia's Investigative Committee has launched a probe into the incident with preliminary data indicating that the plane disintegrated and caught fire upon touching the ground. Reports indicated that the debris were spread across several kilometres. Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that all passengers on board were Russians, while the flight crew consisted of foreigners.
The airport has closed until further notice due to which at least six flights were delayed, two of which were supposed to leave for St. Petersburg, while the others were due to arrive in Moscow. The inbound flights are getting rerouted to Krasnodar. Flydubai confirmed the crash saying, "We are investigating further details and will publish an update once more information is available," the airline added. (IANS)