Majority of people on the airliner were from Iran and Canada.
A Ukraine International Airlines aircraft crashed on Wednesday morning in Iran, killing all 176 people on board.
The plane crashed just 10 minutes after taking off, appearing to burst into flames while in midair.
FlightRadar24 reported that the plane lost contact about two minutes after taking off.
What are the details?
The airliner, a Boeing 737-800 NG, was just three years old and had been recently tested. The last scheduled maintenance on the plane was just two days before the fateful flight, which left Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran and was bound for Kyiv, Ukraine.
The Ukrainian embassy in Tehran initially issued a statement dismissing the notion of terrorism, but deleted the statement. It later reissued a statement saying that the cause was unknown and the disaster was under investigation. Authorities have chalked the crash up to technical issues.
The region has experiencing a plethora of unrest over the last week, beginning with the U.S. airstrike on Gen. Qassem Soleimani, which ultimately resulted in Iran firing numerous missiles on military facilities housing U.S. troops in neighboring Iraq Tuesday night. However, authorities do not believe that the crash is related to the missile launches.
According to Reuters, Pirhossein Koulivand — head of Iran’s emergency services — said that flames from the wreckage were “so heavy” that no rescue was possible. Rescue methods included 26 ambulances and a helicopter.
The New York Times reported that Qassem Biniaz at the Iranian Ministry of Roads and Urban Development said that one of the airliner’s engines caught fire and that pilots lost control.
IRIB, the Iranian state broadcaster, said that one of the airliner’s black boxes was discovered. Reuters also reported on Wednesday that Iran, however, is refusing to hand over the black box for investigation.
A spokesperson for Boeing issued a statement confirming the crash.
“We are aware of the media reports out of Iran and we are gathering more information,” the statement said. “This is a tragic event and our heartfelt thoughts are with the crew, passengers, and their families. We are in contact with our airline customer and stand by them in this difficult time. We are ready to assist in any way needed.”
What was the Ukraine reaction?
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s offered his “sincere condolences to family and loved ones of all passengers and crew members.”
Ukraine International Airlines announced an indefinite suspension of flights to Tehran in the crash’s wake.
“It was one of the best planes we had, with an amazing, reliable crew,” Yevhen Dykhne, president of the Ukraine International Airlines, said during a news briefing on the incident.
NBC News reported that the majority of people on the airliner hailed from mainly areas in Iran and Canada.
The outlet reported that 82 people on board were Iranian, 63 were Canadian, and 11 people were Ukrainian, including the flight’s nine crew members. Also, 10 people were from Sweden, four people were from Afghanistan, three people were from Germany, and three people were from the United Kingdom.
Author: Sarah Taylor