Investigators in southern Russia yesterday began probing the causes of a Flydubai passenger jet crash that killed all 62 people on board, as emergency workers at the site wrapped up the salvage operation.
The Boeing 737, which flew from Dubai to the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, exploded into a fireball early Saturday after missing the runway in bad weather.
It had reportedly been making its second attempt to land
after circling for several hours.
Investigators said all 55 passengers and seven crew - including nine different nationalities, with 45 from Russia - had died instantly. They launched a criminal probe into whether pilot error, a technical fault or poor weather was to blame.
But the plane’s two black boxes were “badly damaged”, Russia’s intergovernmental aviation committee said in a statement, warning that analysing them would take time.
Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said emergency service workers had completed their “search and rescue” operation at the site, where tangled debris was spread across a wide area.
Investigators were spending the day combing the scene for clues of what caused the crash, Sokolov said, with experts from state-owned budget airline Flydubai - a sister firm of Emirates Airlines - and the United Arab Emirates authorities aiding the probe.
Some 40 people, including air traffic controllers, officials from the regional meteorological centre, and Flydubai representatives, had been questioned as part of the probe, investigators said.
Authorities also said they were starting the grisly task of identifying the collected human remains using DNA samples from relatives.