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FlyDubai Airliner Crashes In Russia; 62 People Killed, No Survivors

MOSCOW, Russia (CBSNewYork/AP) --   Russia's Emergencies Ministry official says all 55 passengers and six crew members aboard a Boeing 737-800 that crashed on landing at the airport in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don have been killed.

Igor Odev, the head of the ministry's southern regional operations, provided the figure at a televised briefing on Saturday morning.

Of the 55 passengers on board, 33 were women, 18 men and four children. There were seven crew members at the time of the crash.

The plane belonged to the budget carrier FlyDubai and was coming from Dubai when it crashed.

"This morning our thoughts and prayers are with those on board and their loved ones and family. We are doing everything that we can to help those that have been affected," FlyDubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith said.

The FlyDubai airliner was fighting against difficult weather conditions over the airport - rains and winds up to 31 miles an hour made it difficult to land, CBS2's Magdalena Doris reported.

FlightRadar24, a flight-tracking website, showed the FlyDubai flight made a series of loops near Rostov on Don while apparently waiting for permission to land. According to Russian officials, it was the pilot's second attempt at landing when it crashed about 800 feet before the start of the runway.

FlyDubai has acknowledged its flight to Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia has crashed with fatalities.

In a statement, the budget carrier says it regrets to confirm that flight FZ981 crashed on landing and that fatalities have been confirmed.

It adds: "We are doing all we can to gather information as quickly as possible. At this moment our thoughts and prayers are with our passengers and our crew who were on board the aircraft. We will do everything we can to help those who have been affected by this accident.''

Dubai Chief Executive Ghaith al-Ghaith says the crew included five men and two women. The pilots were from Cyprus and Spain, while the cabin crew included two Russians and citizens of Seychelles, Colombia and Kyrgyzstan.

The pilot and co-pilot had 5,965 and 5,769 hours of flying time respectively, making them "quite experienced,'' al-Ghaith said. They were not identified by name.

The plane itself was produced in 2011 and underwent a detailed maintenance inspection known as a C check in Jordan on January 21 of this year, the CEO said.

He said he is personally leading the airline's accident response. The carrier has deployed a team to the site of the crash, and Emirati civil aviation investigators are also on their way.

According to Russian officials, both of the plane's black boxes have been recovered -- which will help with the ongoing investigation into the crash.

FlyDubai has a good safety record. In January 2015, one of its planes was struck on the fuselage by what appeared to small-arms fire shortly before it landed in Baghdad. That flight landed safely with no major injuries reported.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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