A Boeing 737-800 owned by the Ukraine International Airlines crashed down soon after the takeoff near Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran, news agency Tasnim reported on Wednesday morning.
Ukraine’s prime minister Oleksiy Honcharuk and Iranian state TV said 167 passengers and nine crew were on board, Reuters reports. No one survived.
The airliner departed at 02.42UTC; last data were received from it at 02.44, flightradar24 said on Twitter.
According to preliminary information, the victims are 73 citizens of Canada, 71 – of Iran, 9 – of Ukraine (including the crew), 8 – of Sweden, 6 – of Afghanistan, 4 – of Germany, 4 – of the United Kingdom. There were no Belarusians aboard the plane, the Foreign Ministry of Belarus reports.
The video from the scene has been published by Associated Press:
The Boeing suffered engine failure and the crash was not caused by ‘terrorism’, Ukraine’s Embassy to Iran states. The Iranian side сites the fire of one of the engines as a probable reason of the air disaster.
At the same time, there are unconfirmed reports that Iran’s air defense forces that were shelling the US military bases in Iraq might have mistakenly hit the Ukrainian aircraft.
In turn, the Ukraine International Airlines company doubts that a crew error contributed to the tragedy.
“We have data that the plane gained 2400 m altitude. The chance the crew made an error is minimal. We simply don’t presume it. Given their experience, it’s very difficult to say that there could be anything wrong with the crew,” Interfax Ukraine quotes UIA Vice President for Flight Operations Ihor Sosnovsky.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky has urged the world community to refrain from putting forward unverified versions of the crash.