All 176 people on board a flight to the Ukrainian capital Kiev were killed when the plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s international airport, Iran’s Press TV reported.
Ukrainian Boeing plane crashes in Iran shortly after takeoff, killing all 176 passengers on board
The Boeing 737 jet, operated by Ukraine International Airlines, took off early Wednesday morning with 167 passengers and nine crew on board, Press TV reported, citing Ali Khashani, a senior public relations official at Imam Khomeini Airport in the Iranian capital.
Earlier reports from Iranian state media had said 180 people were on board Flight PS752.
Eighty-two Iranians, 63 Canadians, and 11 Ukrainians died in the crash, according to a tweet from Ukrainian foreign minister Vadym Prystaiko.
Flight-tracking service FlightRadar 24 said in a tweet that the jet had been in service for about three and a half years. Data from FlightRadar 24 suggests that the crash could have happened as quickly as two minutes after takeoff.
Ukraine International Airlines refused to comment on the cause of the crash.
However airline president Yevhenii Dykhne did say that Tehran airport is “not a simple airport.”
A pilot requires “several years” of training at the airport, said Dyknhe at a press conference in Kiev.
“It is impossible that there were mistakes by the crew,” he said.
The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from the plane, commonly known as black boxes, have been found, Iranian state broadcaster IRIB reported, citing the Tehran prosecutor.
They could provide crucial evidence about what happened to the plane leading up to the crash.
A Boeing spokesperson told CNN they are “aware of the media reports out of Iran and we are gathering more information.”
The crash takes place just days before the company’s new CEO David Calhoun will formally take the job. Calhoun replaces Dennis Muilenburg, who was ousted in December after Boeing’s disastrous year.
The American aviation giant is still reeling from the aftermath of two 737 Max crashes, which killed 346 people. The Max has been grounded worldwide since March, and the company has struggled with delays and other issues in its bid to get the planes back in the air