A Boeing 737 passenger plane belonging to Ukrainian Airlines crashed at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport.
Iranian sources have declared the cause of the accident a technical defect and the head of the civil aviation agency has said that the black box will be checked in Iran and will not be delivered to the manufacturer (US).
Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752 departed from Tehran early this morning on Wednesday morning and crashed shortly after 1:30 pm local time. The Iranian Civil Aviation Authority reported the crash site as Sabashahr in Tehran province.
Shortly after the news of the crash, Pir Hossein Kowlivand, the head of the Iranian Emergency Service, said that all the passengers of the plane had been killed in the crash, and Morteza Salimi, the head of the Red Crescent Rescue Service, also confirmed that the passengers were dead.
Fars News Agency also reports the death toll, the victims were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians including all nine crew, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Britons and three Germans, Fifteen of the dead were children.
Reuters news agency quoted Ukrainian Foreign Ministry sources as saying that more than one hundred and sixty people were aboard the aircraft, while the Iranian Civil Aviation Authority reported the number of passengers – and the crew of nine – and said that most of the passengers were Iranian.
The bodies of the victims have been taken to forensic lab for their identification. Iranian officials have ruled out the possibility of a terrorist act as the cause of the plane crash.
In a message expressing his condolences, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the embassy was trying to identify the dead.
A video has been posted on social networks showing the appearance of the aircraft as it crashed into the ground and seconds later. The film is shot in the dark of the night, with little detail to be seen.
Shortly after the news of the plane crash, Boeing’s Stephen Stephenson said, “We are aware of reports in Iran and are collecting more information.”
However, it was reported that the plane’s black box will not be given to the aircraft maker Boeing to investigate the cause of the crash.
According to Mehr News Agency, Ali Abedzadeh, Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development and head of the Civil Aviation Authority, said that “According to ICAO rules, air accident handling in the country concerned is carried out by the same airline. Today it will be handled by the Civil Aviation Authority, but Ukrainians can also be present at the accident. ”
According to the report, Abedzadeh has said that he will not send the black box to the manufacturer and the Americans for the black box to be read, and it is unclear which country the black box is going to read for now.
The IRNA news agency quoted the Iranian official as saying that the plane’s black box would be handed over to the Iranian airline and would be reviewed by the airline’s disaster management committee, adding: “If Iran fails to read the aircraft black box, The hardware and software needed will determine in which country the aircraft black box will be opened.”
He said no information was available on the technical defects of the aircraft and that the pilot had no contact with the airport watchtower prior to the crash