More than 60 people have died after a FlyDubai passenger jet smashed into the ground while attempting to land at a Russian airport.
Flight FZ981 was carrying 55 passengers and seven crew members from Dubai when it crashed at Rostov-on-Don airport around 4am Moscow time.
Four children were among those killed in the smash, which happened as the plane attempted to land for a second time in bad weather conditions. Thirty-three women and 18 men were also travelling.
The plane went up in flames after its tail hit the runway and disintegrated, a statement released by Russia’s Emergencies Ministry confirmed. Pilot error or a technological failure are thought to be the two main causes being investigated.
The aircraft, which was allegedly piloted by Cypriot Aristos Sokratous, was predominantly carrying Russian passengers, although eight Ukrainians, two Indians and one person from Uzbekistan were also on board.
Emergency services were this morning at the airport attempting to clear up the debris from the Boeing 737. Photographs showed officials standing in thick fog and rain as they scoured the crash site.
Meanwhile, relatives were pictured sobbing at the airport as FlyDubai began to contact families about the crash.
A statement from the aircraft said: ‘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.’
Nicos Anastasiade, president of Cyprus, also paid tribute Mr Sokratous, who leaves behind a child and was allegedly recently married.