Ukraine Airlines Jet With 176 People Crashes In Iran

A Ukrainian International Airlines plane carrying around 176 people crashed shortly after takeoff from an airport in Iran killing everyone on board.

The Boeing 737 is said to have been struck by technical problems just three minutes after takeoff from Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran.

Engine failure caused the crash, according to the Ukrainian Embassy.

However, the flight did not declare an emergency before the crash, an official from the Iran Civil Aviation Organisation has reportedly said.

General Director of the body’s panel to investigate aircraft accidents, speaking to state media, Hassan Rezaeifar, quoting an official, said the crash did not declare an emergency and that 32 foreigners were on board.

The Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said there were 167 passengers and nine crew members on board, according to preliminary data, as well as confirming Ukrainian consul are at the crash site.

With the crash coming hours after more than a dozen ballistic missiles were launched by Iran at US bases in Iraq has led to speculation the two incidents are linked, reports the Mail Online.

The flight was moving at a ground speed of 316 mph but tracking stopped six minutes after takeoff.

Distressing footage released by ISNA news agency in Iran appeared to show the plane bursting into flames before it hit the ground.

Rescue teams were dispatched to the site but state television has said that all people on board the flight were killed.

The aircraft, said to be flight number PS752, took off at around 6.14am local time and reached 7,952ft.

Pirhossein Koulivand, head of Iran’s emergency services, earlier told state television: “The plane is on fire but we have sent crews …and we may be able to save some passengers.”

Ali Kashani, spokesman for Imam Khomeini International Airport, told Fars news agency the plane “crashed around Parand”, about 60 kilometres south-west of Tehran.

“It is predicted that technical problems caused the accident,” he said.

The aircraft was three years old.

Reports citing Red Crescent said two helicopters and three rescue groups had been sent to the site.

Some parts of the aircraft had fallen in or close to a residential area. Rescuers at the scene reported there were no signs of survivors.

The US Federal Aviation Administration had earlier barred commercial flights from entering Iranian and Iraqi airspace, after Iran launched missiles targeting US troops based in Iraq.

In a statement, Mr Zelensky said: “Terrible news from the Middle East. This morning, after taking off from the Imam Khomeini International Airport (Tehran), a passenger plane of Ukraine International Airlines crashed near the airport.

“According to preliminary data, all passengers and crew members were killed. Our embassy clarifies the information about the circumstances of the tragedy and the lists of casualties.

“My sincere condolences to the families and friends of all passengers and crew members.”

Heightened military activity and tensions in the region could present “an inadvertent risk” due to the “potential for miscalculation or mis-identification,” said the FAA.

It was not immediately clear if there was any link between the crash and the escalation in conflict between the US and Iran.

The news comes just hours after Iran launched 30 missiles at US bases in Iraq.

Earlier the FAA in the US has said it was issuing flight restrictions that prohibited civil operators flying over airspace in the region.

The crash comes just days before the Boeing’s new CEO David Calhoun will officially take over from Dennis Muilenburg, who was pushed out last month after company’s disastrous year, reports CNN.

(Mirror online)

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