Ukrainian airline crashes in Iran, all 176 dead

Ukrainian airline crashes in Iran, all 176 dead
Rescue workers carry the body of a victim, Wednesday. (AP)
TEHRAN, JAN 8 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 1/8/2020 1:11:23 PM IST

 A Ukrainian airliner carrying 176 people crashed on the outskirts of Tehran during a takeoff attempt Wednesday hours after Iran launched its missile attack on U.S. forces, scattering flaming debris and passengers’ belongings across farmland and killing everyone on board. The Ukraine International Airlines flight was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries. Ukraine Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said they included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three British nationals. The passenger manifest included several children and teenagers, some as young as 1 or 2.

The Iranian military disputed any suggestion the plane had been hit by a missile, and Iranian aviation authorities said they suspected a mechanical problem brought down the three and half year old Boeing 737. 

However, Ukraine has refused to rule out that the plane that crashed in Iran and killed all 176 on board was struck by a missile. 

Initially, Ukraine’s embassy in Iran said on Wednesday morning that engine failure caused the plane to crash and denied that it was terror-related or that a rocket had hit the aircraft. But it later withdrew this statement, saying that anything was possible, and Zelensky instructed Ukraine’s prosecutors to open criminal proceedings over the crash. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said: “Our priority is to find the truth and everyone responsible for the tragedy.”

Major world airlines Wednesday rerouted flights crossing the Middle East to avoid danger amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

Iran ‘won’t hand over’ black box: Iran said it will not give the black box of the crashed Ukrainian airliner to planemaker Boeing, the head of Tehran’s civil aviation organisation was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Ali Abedzadeh also said it was not clear which country Iran would send the box to so that its data could be analysed, semi-official Mehr news agency reported.


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