A Ukrainian airliner with 176 passengers and crew onboard has crashed near Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport.
The incident happened Wednesday morning.
According to Iran’s state television, all those on board, the majority of whom are Iranians, were killed. The plane crashed near Parand, a suburb southwest of capital Tehran shortly after the takeoff.
Qassem Biniaz, a spokesman for Iran’s Road and Transportation Ministry revealed that the plane had taken off from Imam Khomeini International Airport when a fire struck one of its engines, making the pilot lose control of the plane, which sent it crashing into the ground.
A look at images posted on social media also indicated that there were no survivors as earlier reports said there were 180 on board the plane.
At the site of the crash, there was a wide field of debris scattered across farmland and the dead lay among shattered pieces of the aircraft.
Flighradar24 flight tracker, the Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 was scheduled to take off at 5:15 am Tehran time (01:45 GMT) for the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, but the departure was delayed by almost an hour as it took off at 6:12 am (02:42 GMT).
“An investigation team from the national aviation department was dispatched to the location after the news was announced. We will give more reports in upcoming bulletins,” Reza Jafarzadeh, a spokesman of the Iranian Aviation Organisation told reporters in Tehran.
Reacting to the incident, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk confirmed the casualty toll and extended their condolences to the families of the victims.
Boeing in a statement said it was “aware of the media reports” of the incident, and that it was “gathering more information”.
The incident comes just hours after Iran launched a retaliatory attack on two US military bases in Iraq.