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66 'killed' in Iran plane crash

66 'killed' in Iran plane crash

Due to foggy condition, rescue helicopters couldn't reach the crash site in the Zagros Mountains, state TV reported.

After days of search operation in cooperation with Russian Federation and Iranian Space Agency (ISA), "we, finally, managed to provide photos from the scene of plane crash".

The aircraft took off from Tehran - the Iranian capital city - before 8 a.m. local time earlier this Sunday, headed towards the town of Yasuj about 450 miles south of Tehran.

One of Iran's worst air accidents happened in February 2003 when an Iranian Ilyushin-76 troop carrier crashed in southeast Iran, killing all 276 Revolutionary Guard soldiers and crew. It is a well-known fact that for years, Iran was prohibited from fulfilling its requirement for necessary parts due to Western sanctions who were opposed to contesting its nuclear program.

The Iran Aseman Airlines plane that crashed at the weekend, a twin-engined, turboprop ATR72, was 24 years old. "The plane which crashed today faced technical problems midair during a recent flight a few weeks ago", Roozarooz reported.

The incident has reawakened concerns over aviation safety in Iran, which has been exacerbated by global sanctions over the years.

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The plane's emergency locator transmitter was reportedly not functioning, helping to explain the difficulty in finding the wreckage.

A CAOI official said that the pilot of the crashed jet had not declared a emergency situation and that the plane's emergency locator transmitter had not transmitted signals following the crash.

Shahin Fat'hi, deputy head of Rescue and Relief Organization, also said that rescue teams might be forced to camp in the area to resume searching operation as well as transferring the bodies the next morning. State radio said five helicopters and five drones are active in the search operation.

Relatives of the victims gathered in front of a mosque near Tehran's Mehrabad airport after the tragedy and were informed of what had happened.

Aseman Airlines was blacklisted by the European Commission, in December 2016, over safety concerns. Tehran blames USA sanctions for preventing it from importing new aircraft or spare parts.

A month later, the airline signed agreements to buy 118 planes from Airbus, before cutting the number to around 100.


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