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Committee says black boxes from Russian plane crash site are badly damaged

| Sunday, March 20, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia — Aviation experts Sunday began examining the black boxes from the FlyDubai flight that crashed amid high winds at an airport in southern Russia, killing all 62 aboard.

FlyDubai's Boeing 737-800 from Dubai nosedived and exploded in a giant fireball before dawn Saturday after trying to land for a second time in strong winds in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. FlyDubai confirmed all 62 people on the plane were killed. Most of the passengers were Russian.

Several planes had trouble landing at the airport at the time of the crash.

The Inter-State Aviation Committee said in a statement that the plane's data and voice recorders had been heavily damaged in the crash.

But Sergei Zaiko, deputy chairman of the committee, was quoted by Russian news agencies late Sunday as saying that the quality of material on the data recorder was high.

The black boxes were being viewed in Moscow by experts from Russia, the United Arab Emirates and France, the aviation commission said. The American-made Boeing plane had French-made engines.

At Rostov-on-Don, hundreds of people flocked Sunday to the airport, the region's largest, to lay flowers and leave candles and toys in memory of the dead. The city is 600 miles south of Moscow near the Ukrainian border.

The airport remained closed, but workers Sunday afternoon were repairing the damage to the runway, and plans are to reopen on Monday morning, the airport said in a statement.

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