M A I N   N E W S

39 dead as Iran airliner crashes

Tehran, August 10
An Iranian passenger plane crashed today moments after its takeoff from Tehran, killing at least 39 persons on board and narrowly avoiding many more deaths when it plummeted near a busy market.

President Hassan Rouhani offered his condolences to victims’families and quickly ordered an investigation into the crash. Similar planes operated by Iranian carriers will be grounded until the probe is complete, he directed.

The plane was based on a relatively obscure Ukrainian design that has been involved in previous Iranian air disasters.

The plane was headed to the eastern city of Tabas when it crashed at 9.18 am (local time), after leaving the Mehrabad airport. It triggered a fireball when it smashed into the capital’s Azadi neighbourhood, close to where hundreds of military families live, and only a few hundred metres from a market. Iran’s Deputy Transport Minister Ahmad Majidi said the Antonov An-140 turboprop plane had 40 passengers on board, including six children and eight crew members.

A fire brigade official initially said all on board had been killed, but a new agency later reported that 37 bodies were sent to the morgue while another agency said nine persons were hospitalised, two of them critically injured.

The aircraft was operated by Sepahan Airlines and a tailfin bearing the company’s dolphin logo could be seen sticking out of the road as the security forces cordoned off the crash site where firefighters had doused the flames.

Thick black smoke billowed from the burnt-out crumbled mass of metal. Officials said the plane hit a wall and some trees.

An eyewitness said: “I was on my motorbike when I heard a thud behind me. I turned around. It was a plane. It was so close. Along with other people, I ran to try and save passengers, but there were two or three loud explosions and a huge fire.”

The Mehrabad airport is by far the country’s busiest domestic hub. Most international passenger flights take off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, which is located further west of the capital. — AFP

The tragedy

  • Antonov An-140 turboprop plane crashed at 9.18 am (local time) immediately after taking off from Mehrabad airport in Tehran
  • The plane had 40 passengers on board, including six children and eight crew members
  • Iran’s Deputy Transport Minister Ahmad Majidi put the death toll at 38

Terrible scene: Eyewitness

The scene was terrible, with the tailfin of the plane lying right in the middle of the street. We were lucky because there was a market around 500 m away and a large number of people were present there at that time.

An eyewitness





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |