Tehran (Basirat) :A Ukrainian passenger plane with 179 people on board has crashed shortly after take-off from the international airport south of the Iranian capital, Tehran, killing all those aboard.
Ali Khashani, a senior public relations official at Imam Khomeini International Airport, said the Boeing 737 operated by the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), which was bound for Kiev, went down early Wednesday in the vicinity of Parand, a city in Robat Karim County, Tehran Province.
The plane caught fire after crashing.
Later, Kashani announced that all the passengers and crew members of the plane had died in the crash, according to IRNA.
Rescue teams were sent to the site of the crash immediately after the incident.
The head of Iran’s Emergency Medical Services, Pir-Hossein Koulivand, also confirmed to Tasnim news agency that all those on board had been killed.
Koulivand said the fire had been extinguished and emergency crews were now collecting bodies.
Later, he announced that there had been 170 passengers and nine crew members on the plane. Of the 170 passengers, he said, 147 had been Iranians.
Kashani, the public relations official at Imam Khomeini International Airport, said the crash had not affected traffic at the port and that all other flights were taking place according to schedule.
Mansour Darajati, the director general of crisis management at the Tehran Governor’s Office, said the Office’s Crisis Management Committee would shortly convene to investigate the crash of the Boeing 737.
However, Qassem Biniaz, an official at the Iranian Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, told IRNA that the plane crashed after its engine caught fire. The pilot made an unsuccessful attempt to control the plane when the fire erupted, he said.
The Ukrainian Embassy in Tehran said the plane went down “due to an engine problem.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered the creation of a crisis team to handle the accident, including top ministers and managed by the country’s national security agency.
“We have prepared emergency planes to send to Tehran... to fly out the bodies of the victims, we are waiting a confirmation by Iran for their departure,” Zelensky said.