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A handout picture released by Russia’s emergency ministry shows fire-engines at the airfield near the airplane crash site in Rostov-on-Don airport on 19 March 2016. Photo: AFP
A handout picture released by Russia’s emergency ministry shows fire-engines at the airfield near the airplane crash site in Rostov-on-Don airport on 19 March 2016. Photo: AFP

Two Indians among 62 killed in Russian plane crash

The nationalities of the deceased passengers include 44 Russians, 8 Ukrainians, 2 Indians and 1 Uzbekistani, flydubai said

Mumbai: Two Indians are among the 62 people killed after a passenger airline crashed and caught fire early on Saturday while landing on its second attempt in strong winds at Rostov-on-Don airport in Russia.

Dubai’s airline firm flydubai’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft had departed Dubai International at 18.20GMT on 18 March and was due to arrive that evening at 22.40 GMT.

“flydubai very much regrets to confirm that the accident involving flight number FZ981 at Rostov-on-Don earlier today has resulted in 55 passenger fatalities including 33 women, 18 men and 4 children," flydubai said in a statement.

The nationalities of the deceased passengers include 44 Russians, 8 Ukrainians, two Indians and one Uzbekistani, flydubai said.

Details of Indian passengers were not immediately known.

“We are currently contacting relatives of the passengers and crew who were on board and we are offering any help we can to those affected," flydubai said.

On Saturday, Reuters reported that the aircraft hit the ground and broke into pieces quoting the Investigative Committee of Russia’s statement on its website.

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, Reuters reported.

flydubai said chief executive officer Ghaith Al Ghaith, with the support of the full management team, is leading airline’s response to the accident.

“At this stage the focus of our efforts is on establishing the facts around the incident and providing all possible support to the authorities. Our emergency response team are now en-route to Rostov-on-Don," the airline said.

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