TEHRAN, Iran (AP/WCBD) — An Iranian emergency official says a crash has killed all those on board a Ukrainian commercial airliner that took off from Tehran. Pir Hossein Kulivand made the comment Wednesday morning after the crash. He said rescuers were trying to collect the dead. The plane went down in farmland outside of Iran’s capital, Tehran. Authorities initially blamed a mechanical problem for the crash.
Iranian officials said that the crash was unrelated to the Iranian missiles launched at Iraqi air bases housing U.S. troops. The investigation is ongoing.
THIS IS A MAJOR NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story is below.
A Ukrainian airplane carrying at least 170 people crashed Wednesday shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s main airport, state TV reported. There was no immediate word on casualties.
The plane had taken off from Imam Khomeini International Airport. The crash is suspected to have been caused by mechanical issues, TV reported, without elaborating.
An investigation team was at the site of the crash in southwestern outskirts of Tehran, civil aviation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh said.
“After taking off from Imam Khomeini International Airport, it crashed between Parand and Shahriar,” Jafarzadeh said. “An investigation team from the national aviation department was dispatched to the location after the news was announced.”
State TV earlier said there were 180 passengers and crew aboard. The discrepancy could not be immediately reconciled.
Flight data from the airport showed a Ukrainian 737-800 flown by Ukraine International Airlines took off Wednesday morning, then stopped sending data almost immediately afterward, according to website FlightRadar24. The airline did not immediately respond to a request for comment.