All 176 people on board a Ukrainian Boeing 737 died when it crashed shortly after take off from Iran’s main international airport, officials in Tehran and Kiev said.
Ukrainian PM Oleksiy Honcharuk said there were 167 passengers and nine crew members on the plane.
Iranian state television said there were no survivors and the aircraft came down due to what it described as “technical problems” after leaving Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran en route to Kiev.
Image: Rescue crews said they could not save anyone Pic: Iranian Red Crescent
State-run news agency IRNA reported that the pilot lost control when a fire broke out in one of its engines – quoting Qassem Biniaz, a spokesman for Iran’s road and transport ministry.
An investigation team is at the site of the crash in the southwestern outskirts of Tehran, civil aviation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh said.
Image: An investigation has been launched into the cause of the crash. Pic: Iranian Red Crescent
Pirhossein Koulivand, head of Iran’s emergency services, told state television the plane was on fire when emergency services first arrived at the crash scene.
“The fire is so heavy that we cannot (do) any rescue… we have 22 ambulances, four bus ambulances and a helicopter at the site,” he said.
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Dmytro Razumkov, Ukraine’s parliament speaker, said in a statement on Facebook: “Our task is to establish the cause of the crash of the Boeing and provide all necessary help to the families of the victims.”
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Ukraine said its embassy in Tehran is trying to clarify the circumstances around the crash and its president, Volodymyr Zelensky, offered his condolences to the relatives of those killed.
Mr Zelensky, who was on an official visit in Oman, cut short the trip to return to the Ukrainian capital Kiev.
Image: The plane is believed to be a Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737-800. File pic
Flight data from the airport showed a Ukrainian 737-800 flown by Ukraine International Airlines took off on Wednesday morning, then stopped sending data almost immediately afterwards, according to website FlightRadar24.
The crash came hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack targeting two bases in Iraq housing US and coalition forces in retaliation for the killing of Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani.
Source : Sky News