Plane crash in Iran,72 dead
Tehran: A Boeing 727 airliner with state-run Iran Air has crashed near a northwestern city in bad weather and broke into pieces, killing at least 72 of the 105 people on board, state media reported.
Earlier, state news agency IRNA reported that 70 people had been killed in the accident near the city of Orumiyeh.
“Based on information received so far, 70 people have been killed and 32 injured” in the crash, Heydar Heydari, deputy head of the Iranian Red Crescent, told state news agency IRNA.
The Mehr news agency, quoting a senior medical official, also reported that 70 people were killed in the crash. “The bodies of 70 victims… were transferred to the provincial coroner’s office,” the official said.
The plane with the Islamic republic’s national carrier crashed near the northwestern city of Orumiyeh at around 7:45 pm (local time) yesterday, an official in West Azerbaijan province said, quoted on state television’s website.
“The airplane took off an hour later than scheduled time from Tehran towards Orumiyeh and because of bad weather conditions came down in a village area near Orumiyeh,” the unidentified official said.
The governor-general of West Azerbaijan, Vahid Jalalzadeh, told state television that “all the bodies and the injured have been transferred to different hospitals in the city” of Orumiyeh.
Giving sketchy details of the crash, Jalalzadeh said the pilot had lost contact with the airport before the airliner disappeared off the radar.
“Then the plane crashed near the village and villagers told the authorities about the crash site. Some passengers were able to get out of the plane themselves, and villagers took several passengers to hospitals,” he said. Another Iranian Red Crescent official told state television that the plane hit the ground and broke into pieces. “Thankfully there was no fire,” he said.
State television footage of the crash showed the airliner broken into three pieces which lay buried in thick snow. Iran Air spokesman Shahrokh Noushabadi said “we are examining the reason for the crash, but bad weather appears to be the main cause.”
An official with the transport ministry told state television that one of the aircraft’s two black boxes had been recovered, and this would help determine the cause of the crash.
Fars said 105 people were believed to have been on board, and ISNA reported that the aircraft was a US-built Boeing 727. A third news agency, ILNA, gave a breakdown of 95 passengers and 10 crew members.