MOSCOW — A passenger jet flying from Dubai crashed in southern Russia early Saturday, killing all 62 people aboard, Russian officials said.
The Boeing 737-800, operated by FlyDubai, crashed during a repeated landing attempt in the city of Rostov-on-Don in “poor weather conditions,” Russia’s Emergency Ministry announced in a statement.
In a second approach in heavy winds, the plane’s wing “hit the runway, began to break up, and burst into flames,” the statement read.
There were 55 passengers and seven crew members aboard, according to Russian officials.
Russia’s Interfax news wire reported that the plane circled the Rostov airport for 40 to 50 minutes attempting to land. The plane broke up completely on impact, government officials told the newswire.
Vladimir Markin, the spokesman for the Investigative Committee, said experts have found the cockpit conversation recorder and are continuing to search for another one that records parameters of the flight, the Associated Press reported.
Ghaith al-Ghaith, FlyDubai’s chief executive, told AP that the crew included five men and two women. The pilots, from Cyprus and Spain, each had more than 5,000 hours of flight time. He did not disclose the names of the crew members.
The plane, al-Ghaith said, was produced in 2011 and underwent a detailed maintenance inspection in Jordan on Jan. 21.
FlyDubai sent a team to the crash site, as has the Emirati civil aviation authority, he said.
Russian officials did not appear to suspect foul play or terrorism immediately after the crash.
The country’s Investigative Committee opened a probe Saturday into any possible safety violations leading to the crash.
In October, a Russian charter jet carrying 224 people from Egypt to St. Petersburg crashed in the Sinai desert after an Islamic State-linked terrorist group detonated a homemade bomb aboard the plane.
“In all likelihood, the cause of the air crash was heavy winds approaching hurricane-strength,” said Vasily Golubev, the governor of the Rostov region, said in remarks on television early Saturday. The majority of passengers were from Rostov-on-Don and the surrounding region, he said.
The Dubai Media Office posted a message on Twitter that said 44 passengers were from Russia, eight from Ukraine, two from India and one from Uzbekistan.
Russian aviation officials rushed to the site of the crash, and President Vladimir Putin ordered government officials to provide aid to the family members of the deceased.
More than 600 relatives of passengers have gathered at the Rostov airport, the Interfax news agency reported, citing a press officer at the airport.
Rostov-on-Don is in southwestern Russia, near the border with Ukraine.
FlyDubai, a budget airline that is the sister carrier to Emirates Airline, was founded in 2008 and now operates more than 1,400 flights a week, according to its website.
It has been expanding rapidly into Russia, flying to Rostov-on-Don since 2013.