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A passenger plane from Dubai carrying about 60 people has crashed on landing in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, Russian officials said.

Survivors were unlikely, a representative of the region’s emergency ministry said on Saturday.


Rostov’s regional emergency ministry said there were 55 passengers aboard and six crew, based on preliminary information.

The reports said the plane was a Boeing 737 operated by Emirati airline FlyDubai, a budget airline with a new fleet of planes that started flying in mid-2009.

Russia’s state-run RT network tweeted a clip of what appeared to be a large explosion.

“We are aware of an incident involving our flight FZ981 from Dubai to Rostov On Don,” a FlyDubai spokesman said in a statement Al Jazeera.

“We are investigating further details and will publish an update once more information is available.”

The same statement later replaced the front page of the air carrier’s website, with traffic to the regular booking page appearing to be temporarily blocked.


Boeing tweeted that it was gathering more information.

There was no immediate information on the cause, although some news reports suggested weather could have been a factor. Tass said weather data from the area indicated that winds were anywhere from 14 to 22 meters per second at the time of the crash and that there was light rain.

Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel-Hamid, reporting from Moscow, said reports indicated the plane was in the air for about two hours in between making an initial attempt to land, and the second attempt, when the plane crashed.

The plane’s flight path, as tracked by Flight Radar 24, shows the plane made a number of turns near the Rostov-on-Don airport prior to the attempted landing.

It is believed to be the first time a FlyDubai plane has crashed.

In January 2015, a FlyDubai passenger jet was shot at while approaching the Iraq capital Baghdad.

An aviation official and a security official said at the time that two passengers were lightly injured when three or four bullets hit the body of the plane, but they were unable to specify the source of the gunfire.

Flydubai, Emirates, Sharjah’s Air Arabia and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad were the first to suspend flights following the incident, in line with a directive from the United Arab Emirates’ civil aviation authority.


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