Plane Crashes Into Iranian Mountains Killing 66 Passengers On Board
Feb 19, 2018, 00:49
Media reportssaid the plane disappeared from radar screens 50 minutes after taking off from Mehrabad airport in the southwest of the capital.
"12 search and rescue teams ... have been dispatched to the area where the plane is believed to have crashed in Semirom's Mount Dena, which is extremely hard to reach", Jalal Pouranfard, a senior provincial official, told the Irna state news agency.
President Hassan Rouhani ordered the transport ministry to set up a crisis group to investigate the crash and coordinate rescue efforts, ISNA reported.
He said there were 45 teams working around the Dena mountain of Iran's southwestern Zagros range. Iran is said to be one of the world's biggest aviation markets which hasn't reached its potential, the report said.
The Iranian Red Crescent said it had dispatched 12 rescue teams to the area.
"Heavy snow is making it hard for rescuers to find the site of the crash", a television reporter accompanying rescue teams told state television.
Flight 3704 departed from Mehrabad Airport of Tehran for Yasuj Airport in Isfahan province. It is banned from flying in the European Union over safety concerns. Here, A French-made ATR-72 owned by Iran's Aseman Airlines sits on the tarmac at Dubai airport, July. And the carrier: Aseman Airlines.
But Reuters reports that while the airline had first said 66 people were on the flight, they later amended the number to 65, as one passenger had missed the flight. An Aseman Airlines chartered flight in August 2008, flown by an Itek Air Boeing 737, crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing 74 people.
Decades of global sanctions have left Iran with an ageing fleet of passenger planes which it has struggled to maintain and modernise.
On September 1, 29 people were killed when a Tupolev 154 crashed and burst into flames in Mashhad in the northeast after a tire blew up.The aircraft run by Iran Airtours skidded off the runway and crashed into fencing. The plane is from the Aseman airline. However, Western analysts are skeptical that there is demand for so many jets or available financing for deals worth billions of dollars.
But Iranian news website Roozarooz reported the aircraft had "technical problems midair during a recent flight a few weeks ago" and had to make an emergency landing.
"Given the fact that the area is mountainous, it is not possible to send ambulances", said Mojtaba Khaledi, spokesman for the national emergency services.
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