This post was updated at 7:32 A.M. EST.
A passenger plane carrying 62 people crashed in southern Russia, killing everyone on board Saturday.
There were 55 passengers on FlyDubai flight FZ981, plus seven crew members, according to The Associated Press and The New York Times, citing Russian emergency officials who spoke during a news conference.
The Boeing 737 “crashed as it came in to land at the airport in Rostov-on-Don,” spokeswoman Marina Kostioukova told AFP.
Citing Tass, a Russian state news agency, The Associated Press reported the plane “hit the ground and broke into pieces” at the airport, about 600 miles south of Moscow. The plane burst into flames after hitting the ground, according to The Guardian, and local media footage showed an enormous fireball erupting from the scene.
Boeing issued a statement acknowledging the crash and offering technical assistance in the investigation.
While it wasn’t immediately clear what caused the crash, officials now believe the weather was a factor, CNN reports. High winds, between 30 and 50 miles per hour, according to Russian officials cited by The Associated Press, and poor visibility kept the plane in the air for more than two hours after an initial attempt to land. The flight crashed during a second attempt.
At an earlier press conference, however, Flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith told reporters it was too early to speculate, according to the International Business Times. Citing a Russian news agency, the IBTimes is reporting that workers at the crash scene found both of the plane’s data records and one of two voice recorders, but the pilot did not issue a distress call, according to Ghaith.
The Ministry of Emergency Situations said investigations have ruled out terrorism as a cause, CNN reports.
In a message on its official Facebook page, FlyDubai confirmed that flight FZ981 crashed, calling it a “tragic accident.”
The airline also released the nationalities of the deceased passengers: “44 Russians, eight Ukrainians, two Indians and one Uzbekistani,” according to the IBTimes.
In October, Russian airliner Kogalymavia crashed in Egypt with 224 people on board about 25 minutes after taking off. Everyone on the St. Petersburg, Russia-bound flight was killed.
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