Russian workers search site of Dubai plane crash that killed 62

Russian emergency workers completed their search and cleanup operations at the site of a Dubai passenger plane crash, while scores of mourners gathered at the airport in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don to leave candles, toys and flowers.

FlyDubai flight FZ981 crashed early Saturday in stormy weather while attempting a second landing in Rostov-on-Don, killing all 62 people on board.

The Boeing 737-800 went down nose-first, at an angle of 60 degrees, and exploded when it hit the ground.

The search area for debris had been extended to 15 hectares, state news agency TASS reported Sunday citing the Emergencies Ministry.

Meanwhile, the recovered flight recorders were sent to Moscow for investigation. Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said the Rostov-on-Don airport was expected to reopen on Monday.

DNA samples were taken from relatives of the victims to help in their identification, officials said.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known. Officials in Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) suggested the disaster was the result of poor weather conditions.

But investigators will also look into whether pilot error or a technical malfunction could have caused the crash.

All 55 passengers and seven crew members aboard flight FZ981, which was flying from Dubai, were killed.

FlyDubai said Sunday that it would pay 20,000 dollars to the families of each of the 55 passengers.

The Dubai-based carrier identified the nationalities of the passengers as 44 Russians, eight Ukrainians, two Indians and one from Uzbekistan.

The pilot was from Cyprus, the co-pilot from Spain.

The fatalities included 33 women, 18 men and four children.

The plane was manufactured in 2011 and was last checked on January 21, an airline official said.

While the FlyDubai plane was circling, two other planes headed for Rostov-on-Don - one belonging to Russia's Aeroflot and another to Czech Airlines - were diverted to the Krasnodar airport 250 kilometres away.

Last update: Sun, 20/03/2016 - 11:57
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