168 killed in Iran plane crash

168 killed in Iran plane crash


This image made from television broadcast by Iran's Press TV, Wednesday, shows they say wreckage from the crashed Iranan passenger plane. AP

A Tupolev passenger aircraft crashed in northwestern Iran on Wednesday on its way to neighbouring Armenia and all 168 people on board were killed, Iranian media reported.

“On board the plane there were 151 adults, 2 children and 15 crew members,” said Caspian Airline’s representative in Yerevan Arlen Davudyan told Reuters at Yerevan Airport.
“Fifteen or 16 minutes after take-off the plane fell near the Iranian city Qazvin about 150 km north of Tehran,” he said. It was a Tu-154aircraft. The cause of the crash was not clear and the black box had not yet been found. The Caspian Airlines plane was carrying 153 passengers and 15 crew, Reza Jafarzadeh, a spokesman for Iran's aviation organisation, told state television.

The plane was travelling from Tehran to Yerevan in Armenia. Crying relatives gathered at Yerevan airport and on one wall a notice listed people who were on board.

A senior Iranian provincial official, Sirous Saberi, said the aircraft had experienced technical problems and had tried to do an emergency landing. “Unfortunately the plane caught fire in the air and it crashed,” he said.


Television showed footage of debris from the plane and some body parts. Eight members of Iran's national junior judo team and two coaches were among the dead, the semi-official Mehr News Agency said.

It was the third deadly crash of a Tupolev Tu-154 in Iran since 2002 and the deadliest crash in the Islamic Republic since 2003 when an Ilyushin Il-76, also Russian built, crashed into a mountain. “It’s been a major disaster with pieces of aircraft spread over an area of 200 sq mt,” a fire brigade official told state television. “There was an explosion which left an indentation 10 metres deep in the ground. There was nothing we could do.
We tried our best to put out the fire,” he said.

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