UPDATE 1-Russia mourns plane crash victims as investigation begins
(Recasts, adds quotes, changes dateline; previous MOSCOW)
By Alexander Reshetnikov and Gennady Novik
ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia, March 20 (Reuters) - Relatives gathered to mourn the 62 victims of a passenger jet crash in southern Russia on Sunday and officials warned an investigation could take weeks to determine the cause of the downing.
At Rostov-on-Don airport about 400 people paid their respects to the 55 passengers and seven crew who died when the Boeing 737-800, operated by Dubai-based budget carrier Flydubai, crashed in the early hours of Saturday.
Bereaved relatives laid red and white carnations on a growing pile of flowers, candles and children's toys, framed by photos of the dead. "We mourn," read an inscription listing the victims' names.
"What happened cannot be expressed with any words. I can't comprehend how the relatives of the victims will go on living," Rostov resident Marina Bondar told Reuters.
"The whole world is expressing its condolences to us. But it is impossible to forget this."
At the crash site, Russian workers finished their search of the snow-covered wreckage, having sifted more than 200 pieces of the victims' bodies scattered across the airfield, Russian TV reported.
Russia's airline regulator said work had started extracting information from the doomed plane's flight recorders, which were badly damaged in the crash. Continuación...