Iran locates wreckage of crashed passenger plane that killed 66 people

Katrina Barker
February 20, 2018

The Aseman Airlines passenger plane came down in the Zagros mountains on Sunday, and all those on board are feared to have been killed. There were 59 passengers and six crew members on the flight, the news agency said.

Right after finding the wreckage rescue and relief teams as well as well-trained mountaineer were dispatched to the area to find the bodies, however, as the mountains are impassable the searches might become lengthier. Aseman Airlines flight EP3704 could not be located about 45 minutes after it took off from Tehran.

The cause of the crash was not known, although airline officials blamed bad weather in the mountains.

A Boeing 727 plane crashed in northwestern Iran in 2011, killing 78 people, and a Caspian Airlines Tupolev bound for Armenia crashed in 2009, killing 168.

The weekend's crash of an Iranian plane over the country's mountainous interior came just a week after a Saratov Airlines jet went down in Russian Federation, shortly after taking off from Moscow.

European airplane manufacturer ATR, a Toulouse, France-based partnership of Airbus and Italy's Leonardo SpA., said it had no immediate information about the crash.

The ATR-72 twin-engine plane, in service for 25 years, left the capital around 8.00 a.m. (0430 GMT) and was heading to Yasuj, some 500 km to the south.

Press TV said search teams reached the crash site before dawn on February 19.

'After searching the area, we learned that unfortunately. our dear passengers had lost their lives, ' he said.

Iran has suffered a series of major aviation disasters in recent decades.

Crash investigators from a French air safety agency were due to arrive in Iran on Monday. It is the third largest airline in the country by fleet size - 29 aircraft including six ATR aircraft - right after Iran Air and Mahan Air.

Iran's state media blamed the US sanctions imposed on Iran since the 1970's - which prohibits the country from entering into trade deals with the USA - for the crash.

Last June, Aseman Airlines finalized an agreement to buy 30 Boeing 737 MAX jets for $3 billion, with an option to buy 30 more.

Decades of global sanctions have left Iran with an ageing fleet of passenger planes which it has struggled to maintain and modernise.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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