Monday, January 14th, 2019

Cargo plane crashes in Iran, killing 15: army

Published 11:08 pm | January 14, 2019

A military cargo plane overshot a runway, crashed and caught fire during a botched landing near the Iranian capital
Tehran, killing 15 people, the army said Monday.

The plane was carrying meat from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan when it crashed near
the capital Tehran, an army spokesman told state TV, adding that only the
flight engineer survived.

“The plane had 16 passengers, 14 of whom were the army crew and two were
civilians; 15 were martyred,” spokesman Amir Taghikhani said. “One, the
flight engineer, was injured and is currently in hospital.”

The charred remains of a plane’s fuselage with Iranian Air Force colours,
its nose wedged through the wall of what appeared to be a house, were seen in
photographs obtained by AFP.

Wreckage including a landing gear and a mangled jet engine were scattered
nearby.

“A (Boeing) cargo 707 place carrying meat took off from Bishkek in
Kyrgyzstan and had an emergency landing at Fath airport this morning,” the
army said earlier in a statement on its website.

“It exited the runway during the landing and caught fire after hitting the
wall at the end of the runway.”

Fath airport is in Alborz province, just northwest of Tehran.

The Fars news agency, considered close to the military, earlier said there
were 16 people onboard and that only the flight engineer had survived.

State broadcaster IRIB showed footage of burning wreckage.

– Still smouldering –

Investigators found a black box from the plane, which will provide more
details about the crash, deputy Alborz governor Azizollah Shahbazi told
Tasnim news agency.

Pictures published by local media showed the charred carcasses of the
animals on board, still smouldering inside one of the buildings the plane
smashed into.

Fars carried a video showing emergency teams cutting through the aircraft’s
nose, which had penetrated what it said was an empty residential complex.

Iran’s ageing air fleet has had a string of crashes in recent years.

Iran’s Aseman Airlines was ordered to ground its fleet of ATR planes in
February last year after one of them crashed in the Zagros mountains, killing
all 66 people onboard.

Iran has been subject to tough US sanctions for years, hindering the
purchase of new aeroplanes and critical spare parts for the US-made planes in
its air force, civilian flag carrier Iran Air and domestic airlines.

Hopes for a change in the situation were dashed last May when Washington pulled out of a landmark 2015 deal over Iran’s nuclear programme, reimposing sanctions that had been lifted as part of the multilateral accord.

(AFP)

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