In the deadliest plane crash since October 31, 2015, when Metrojet Flight 9268 crashed killing all 224 passengers and crew on board, FlyDubai Flight 981 crashed in the early hours of the morning on Saturday, March 12, 2016.
Now, shocking video footage of Flight 981 erupting into a giant ball of flame is circulating on the Internet.
According to the U.K. Daily Mail, FlyDubai Flight 981 was attempting to land in the southwest Russian city of Rostov-on-Don in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Flight 981 had been scheduled to land at 1:20 a.m. local time, but after making a second landing attempt the plane crashed at 3:50 a.m., killing all 55 passengers and seven crew members aboard the flight.
“The plane made a second round coming in to land because of bad weather conditions,” Russia’s Emergency Minister said. “At landing the tail touched the runway, began to break down and burst into flames. At present, no combustion.”
Vasily Golubev, the governor of the Rostov region, says he believes weather was to blame for Flight 981’s demise.
“By all appearances, the cause of the air crash was the strongly gusting wind, approaching a hurricane level,” Golubev said. Such a wind would far exceed the 737-800’s flying capacity, leaving open the question as to why the pilots attempted the landing in the first place.
FlyDubai also issued a series of statements via its Facebook page updating people on details of the accident.
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing also released a statement on the crash early Saturday morning.
“Boeing’s thoughts and prayers are with those on board flydubai flight FZ981 and their families and friends,” the statement read.
“Boeing stands ready to provide technical assistance upon the request of government agencies conducting the investigation. In accordance with the international protocol governing aviation accident investigations, all inquiries about the investigation must be directed to investigating authorities.”