Ukraine Plane Crashed A Few Minutes After Taking Off From Tehran’s Main International Airport

A passenger plane carrying at least 168 people bound for the Ukrainian capital Kiev has crashed a few minutes after taking off from Tehran’s main international airport.

Iran’s Red Crescent has said there was no chance of finding survivors, and Pir Hossein Kulivand, an Iranian emergency official, later told state TV all those on board were killed in the crash.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry confirmed that assessment, citing information from the airline, and said 168 people had been aboard. Local reports said the number could be as high as 180.

“The plane crashed five minutes after taking off,” said civil aviation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh. “The pilot had no contact with the tower and didn’t announce an emergency situation before the crash.”

Kulivand told state TV on Wednesday morning that 179 people had been killed in crash, all but 32 of them Iranian citizens. A list of the passengers released by the state-run Isna news agency said the victims include a British man, four Swedes and six Canadians.

Rescue teams work amid the debris after a Ukrainian plane carrying more than 160 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran.
Rescue teams work amid the debris after a Ukrainian plane carrying more than 160 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran.

The Boeing 737-800 operated by Ukrainian International Airlines took off from Imam Khomeini international airport at 6.12am Tehran time on Wednesday and went down about 10 minutes later, according to flight tracking websites.

There were no early indications the crash was linked to Wednesday morning’s missile strikes on bases in Iraq hosting US and coalition troops.

Boeing released a brief statement saying it was aware of the media reports about the disaster and was gathering more information.

A video purportedly of the crash circulated by the ISNA news agency showed the aircraft burning as it fell from the sky.

The 737-800 belongs to the same family as, but is different to, the 737 Max 8 aircraft, which has been grounded since two fatal crashes occurred within six months in Indonesia and Ethiopia. The 737-800 operates with a different software system to the one implicated in the Max 8 crashes.

The Ukraine International Airlines jet was less than four years old.

An investigation team was now at the site of the crash on the south-western outskirts of Tehran, civil aviation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh said. “After taking off from Imam Khomeini international airport, it crashed between Parand and Shahriar,” Jafarzadeh said.
@ Guardian News

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