MOSCOW (AP) – Officials say both flight recorders have now been recovered at the crash site in southern Russia where a Dubai airliner went down while trying to land in strong wind, killing all 62 people aboard.
Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said the Boeing 737-800 operated by budget airline FlyDubai was carrying 55 passengers, most of them Russians, and seven crew members of various nationalities.
Closed-circuit TV footage showed the plane going down in a steep angle and exploding. The powerful explosion left a big crater in the runway and pulverized the plane but investigators quickly recovered both flight recorders.
The cause of the crash wasn’t immediately known, but experts pointed at a sudden gust of wind as a possible reason. They said several planes had trouble landing at the airport at the time of the crash, with one trying to land three times before giving up and diverting to another airport.
It was FlyDubai’s first crash since the budget carrier began operating in 2009. Its fleet consists of mint 737-800 aircraft like the one that crashed.