Published: Tue, February 20, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Iran Aircraft killed 66 On Board, Wreckage Not Confirmed

Iran Aircraft killed 66 On Board, Wreckage Not Confirmed

The Aseman Airlines passenger plane came down in the Zagros mountains on Sunday, and all those on board are feared to have been killed.

"Given the good weather conditions, clear skies and less wind, there is a good visibility today for continuing the search", Mojtaba Khaledi, spokesperson for the emergency services, told the official IRNA news agency.

An Iranian ATR 72-600 passenger plane operated by Aseman Airlines and bound for the Iranian city of Yasuj disappeared from radars 50 minutes after taking off from Teheran on Sunday morning. The plane carried 60 passengers, including one child, and six crew members. However, President Donald Trump's refusal to recertify the deal has injected uncertainty into those sales.

The head of the country's emergency services said moving the bodies of those who had died would prove hard in the bad weather conditions.

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An Iranian commercial aircraft carrying 66 people crashed, killing everyone on board, on Sunday in southern Iran, a semi-official news agency reported.

Rescuers have discovered parts of the wreckage of the Iranian passenger plane which crashed on February 18, a source from Iran's transportation ministry told RIA Novosti. Authorities said they would be investigating. "Unfortunately, all our dear ones lost their lives in this incident", said Tabatabai.

The ATR-72 twin-engine plane, in service for 25 years, left the capital around 8.00 a.m. (0430 GMT) and was heading to Yasuj, some 500 km to the south. The organization specialized in flights to remote airfields across the country as well as internationally.

Iran has suffered a string of aviation disasters in recent years, due in part to its aging aircraft fleet, which it has struggled to modernize in the face of US sanctions.

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The Iranian airliner's fleet is very old as it has been prevented from updating for years due to severe sanctions from the West.

On Instagram, Aseman Airlines highlighted the doomed aircraft in October, saying it had been "grounded" for seven years but would be "repaired and will be operational after checking and testing". Several plane crashes has occurred in the past few decades in the country, which Tehran blames on USA sanctions, which has been an obstacle to it's acquisition of new aircraft or spare parts.

Iran has suffered multiple aviation disasters, most recently in 2014 when 39 people were killed as a Sepahan Airlines plane crashed just after take-off from Tehran, narrowly avoiding many more deaths when it plummeted near a busy market.

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