All 176 people on board a flight to the Ukrainian capital Kiev were killed when the plane crashed and burst into flames shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s international airport, Iran’s Press TV reported.
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.
VICTIMS ON BOARD
In total, 82 Iranians and 63 Canadians were on board the Kyiv-bound Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) Flight PS752, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said.
There were also 11 victims – including nine crew members – from Ukraine, four Afghans, three Britons and three Germans.
Iran’s head of emergency operations said 147 of the victims were Iranian, which suggests many of the foreign nationals held dual nationality.
“My sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of all passengers and crew members.”
It was Kiev-based Ukraine International Airlines’ first fatal accident. The carrier said it was doing everything possible to confirm the cause, and the investigation would also involve Boeing and national authorities.
Under international rules Iran has responsibility for investigating the crash.
Iranian state broadcaster IRIB said one of the plane’s two black boxes had been found. Semi-official news agency Mehr quoted the head of the country’s civil aviation authority as saying Iran would not give the recorder to Boeing.
The 737-800 belongs to the same family as, but is different to, the 737 Max 8 aircraft, which has been grounded since two fatal crashes occurred within six months in Indonesia and Ethiopia. The 737-800 operates with a different software system to the one implicated in the Max 8 crashes.