3 would-be passengers cheated death missing fatal Flydubai flight

At least three potential passengers of the woeful Flydubai FZ981 flight, that crashed during landing in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, narrowly escaped death having accidentally missed or abruptly canceled the trip.

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Russian media reports that apart from the 55 passengers who lost their lives in the plane crash in Rostov-on-Don in the early hours of Saturday, three more people had been bound to board the Dubai airliner.

Late party-goer

Elvira Isaeva, who was on vacation in the United Arab Emirates, was celebrating her friend’s birthday on Friday night and overslept, missing her airport transfer and, consequently, her flight. The woman says she cannot believe what happened.

“I don’t know how it happened. It was sheer luck. I just overslept – and that’s it,” the weeping woman told Russia’s LifeNews. This information has been confirmed by deputy director of Elvira’s tour operator, Andrey Sevastyanov, who said that the woman will stay in Dubai for several more days, while the ‘Natalie Tours’ will pay both her stay and return tickets.

“I woke up to a phone-call from Rostov, where I bought the tour. I didn’t even understand what they meant when some trembling voice asked me: “Are you alive?”

“I said 'Yes' and went back to bed. And then, when I woke up and turned on the news, I was horrified. I do not know, is it my luck, a guardian angel watching over me or my mother’s prayers, but I'm in dismay,” Elvira said, retracing the events of her morning.

“I’m hurt and terrified by what happened there. There were people who came here with me, who I spent time here with…” she added, stating that she does not plan to change the company and will come home on the next FlyDubai flight to Rostov.

Lost ID & wife

Another passenger had missed the trip to Dubai completely, but stayed alive because of it. However, despite having spared his life, the tragedy has left him a widower.

A man from Rostov, whose name has not been disclosed to the media, is said to have lost his passport just days before a planned vacation in Dubai with his wife. Dmitry Arutyunov, the CEO of “Art-Tour” travel agency, told Interfax that four of their customers, or “two couples, were supposed to fly to Dubai on holiday and return on this flight.”

“The couple bought tickets to the UAE and had to fly from Rostov-on-Don to Dubai. However, the man had lost his passport, and remained in Russia, and his wife decided to fly without him,” he said, adding that the couple’s friends were also on board when the plane crashed.

Canceled trip

A Rostov woman had canceled her vacation in Dubai at the last moment for unknown reasons, as reported by REN TV. Ekaterina S., as the news channel refers to her, was supposed to fly to Dubai with her son, but abruptly changed her mind.

However, Ekaterina’s cousin with a spouse along with her husband’s brother with his girlfriend took the fatal trip. All four of them were killed in the plane crash. Media report claim that Ekaterina has found out about the incident from the news. She is reported to be in a state of shock and refusing to speak to anyone about the tragedy.

Meanwhile, relatives and friends of those who died in the Flydubai Boeing plane crash have been gathering at the airport in Rostov-on-Don, laying flowers in memory of their lost loved ones, with many failing to hold their emotions at bay.

The Flydubai flight FZ981 crashed in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don on Saturday morning, killing all 62 people on board, including four children.

A human error amid poor weather conditions was named as a likely principle cause of the plane crash, according to a statement from Rostov Region Governor Vasily Golubev. Other versions investigated by authorities include a possible technical failure and a combination of several factors.

RT encourages people who can shed light on the situation to write to flydubaigate@rttv.ru and tell us their stories.