January 07, 2020
Three Britons were among 176 people killed when a Ukrainian passenger plane crashed after taking off from Iran, the Ukrainian foreign minister has said.
Iran Plane Crash: 3 Brits Among 176 Killed After Ukrainian Jet Crashes Near Tehran
The Boeing 737 belonging to Ukraine International Airlines burst into flames after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport and came down down around six miles away.
Ukrainian officials confirmed on Wednesday morning that all passengers and crew on board had been killed. The country’s foreign minister later gave a breakdown of their nationalities as follows:82 Iranians63 Canadians11 Ukrainians including nine crew10 Swedes4 Afghanis3 Germans3 BritonsOfficials originally said the cause of the crash was engine failure, ruling out a missile attack or act of terrorism related to current tensions in the region.
A subsequent statement from Ukraine’s embassy in Iran, however, appeared to walk back the conclusions, saying any previous comments were not official and that the cause of the crash had not yet been disclosed.
Iranian state TV said the incident was due to unspecified technical problems, and Iranian media quoted a local aviation official as saying the pilot did not declare an emergency.
The black box recorder from the aircraft has been found and an investigation is underway, Iran’s state broadcaster IRIB reported.Carrier Ukraine International Airlines said it was doing everything possible to confirm the cause, and the investigation would also involve Boeing and Ukrainian and Iranian authorities. It was the Kiev-based airline’s first fatal accident.
Associated Press journalists who reached the crash site saw a wide field of debris scattered across farmland. The dead lay among shattered pieces of the aircraft.
Rescuers in masks shouted over the noise of hovering helicopters as they worked.
“The fire is so heavy that we cannot (do) any rescue... we have 22 ambulances, four bus ambulances and a helicopter at the site,” Pirhossein Koulivand, head of Iran’s emergency services, told Iranian state television.According to air tracking service FlightRadar24, the plane that crashed was Flight PS 752 and was flying to Kiev. The plane was three years old and was a Boeing 737-NG, it said.
Boeing spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the company was aware of media reports of a plane crash in Iran and was gathering more information.The Boeing 737-800 is a very common single-aisle, twin-engine jetliner used for short to medium-range flights. Thousands of the planes are used by airlines around the world, PA Media reports.
Introduced in the late 1990s, it is an older model than the Boeing 737 MAX, which has been grounded for nearly 10 months following two deadly crashes.
The crash came hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack targeting two bases in Iraq housing US forces in retaliation for the killing of Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani.Related... Iran Strikes Back At US With Missile Attack At Bases In Iraq Here’s The Latest On Iran: The US Is Braced For ‘Severe Revenge’
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