Ukrainian plane Boeing 373 crashes in Iran, all 170 onboard killed

PTI Hemani Sheth Tehran | Updated on January 08, 2020 Published on January 08, 2020

File photo   -  Reuters

A Ukranian Plane crashed over the southwestern outskirts of Tehran after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini international airport hours after Iran’s missile attack on US base in Iraq on Wednesday. 

The plane crash happened between the cities of Parand and Shahriar as per a report in CNN at 6:22 local time. So far, four helicopters and 22 ambulances have been dispatched for aid as per reports in Business Today. The area is currently ablaze leading to lack of accurate reporting of the current happenings in the region.  

As per the flight tracking site FlightRadar24, the plane, Flight 752, a 737-800 belonged o the Ukranian International airlines and was bound for the Ukranian capital of Kyiv. Iran’s semi-official news agency Iranian Students' News Agency ISNA reported that the crash was due to mechanical issues in the vehicle. An investigation team from the aviation department has been dispatched to the region as per a report by Time. 

Pir Hossein Kulivand, an Iranian emergency official, later told state TV all those on board were killed in the crash. He said rescuers were trying to collect the dead.

State TV earlier said there were 180 passengers and crew aboard. The discrepancy could not be immediately reconciled.

Flight data from the airport showed a Ukrainian 737-800 flown by Ukraine International Airlines took off Wednesday morning, then stopped sending data almost immediately afterward, according to website FlightRadar24. The airline did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A photo later published by Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency showed rescue officials in a farm field, with what appeared to be pieces of the aircraft laying nearby.

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.

Other Boeing 737 crashes

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.

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.

A number of 737-800 aircraft have been involved in deadly accidents over the years.

In March 2016, a FlyDubai 737-800 from Dubai crashed while trying to land at Rostov-on-Don airport in Russia, killing 62 onboard. Another 737-800 flight from Dubai, operated by Air India Express, crashed in May 2010 while trying to land in Mangalore, India, killing more than 150 onboard.

Chicago-based Boeing Co was “aware of the media reports out of Iran and we are gathering more information,” spokesman Michael Friedman told The Associated Press.

Boeing, like other airline manufacturers, typically assists in crash investigations. However, that effort in this case could be affected by the US sanctions campaign in place on Iran since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers in May 2018.

Both Airbus and Boeing had been in line to sell billions of dollars of aircraft to Iran over the deal, which saw Tehran limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. But Trump’s decision halted the sales.

Under decades of international sanctions, Iran’s commercial passenger aircraft fleet has aged, with air accidents occurring regularly for domestic carriers in recent years, resulting in hundreds of casualties.

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Published on January 08, 2020
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