Published: Wed, February 21, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

66 people killed in Iran plane crash

66 people killed in Iran plane crash

However, the sale could be scuppered if US President Donald Trump chooses to reimpose sanctions in the coming months, as he has threatened to do.

Due to foggy condition, rescue helicopters couldn't reach the crash site in the Zagros Mountains, state TV reported.

The ATR-made plane was on a flight to the southwestern city of Yasuj and a spokesman for the airline said there were 60 passengers and six crew aboard.

"We do not confirm finding the wreckage of the passenger plane", an official in Aviation Operation Bureau of the organization told Xinhua on the phone.

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Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sent a message of condolence, saying the news had "left our hearts overwhelmed with sadness and sorrow", according to state television.

Tabatabai says the plane crashed into Mount Dena, which is about 4,400 meters, or 14,435 feet, tall. Images of frantic scenes at the Yasuj airport were also shown on the TV network. The airport itself is at almost 6,000 feet.

Authorities said that rescue helicopters struggled to land in the crash site in the Zagros Mountain because of 'heavy fog and emergency workers were trying to reach the area by land'.

Aseman Airlines operates mainly domestic routes in Iran, but also runs worldwide routes. National carrier Iran Air has ordered 80 planes from Boeing and 100 from Airbus.

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The other 190 airlines banned by Europe were blacklisted due to broader concerns over safety oversight in their respective countries.

In a more recent case in January 9, 2011, Iran Air 727-200 during a scheduled flight from Tehran to Urmia crashed near its destination causing the death of 12 crew members, and 65 passengers out of the 93 on board. It wasn't clear what led to the grounding, though Iran only recently regained access to the airplane parts market after the nuclear deal.

The French-Italian twin-engine turboprop ATR 72-500 was 25 years old and was used for short distance regional flights. It was the second major airliner crash in a week and new details have emerged about the earlier crash of regional jet in Russian Federation two weeks ago. An Aseman Airlines chartered flight in August 2008, flown by an Itek Air Boeing 737, crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing 74 people.

Due to the global sanctions imposed on Iran, the country is left with an ageing fleet of passenger planes which it is struggling to maintain.

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Recent developments, such as the 2015 U.S. -Iran nuclear agreement, have lifted some of the sanctions, allowing for airlines to buy new planes.

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