TEHRAN – Thirty-nine people were killed and nine were injured in a plane crash near Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport on Sunday, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani immediately ordered the transport minister to prepare a comprehensive report on the cause of the incident.
The Iran-140 Sepahan Air passenger plane bound for the city of Tabas in northeastern Iran with 48 passengers and crew on board crashed on a road near the airport shortly after takeoff.
The incident reportedly occurred due to an engine failure.
Some of the injured people who were transferred to hospital are in critical conditions.
‘Iran-140 planes must be grounded until full investigation carried out’
In his order to the transport minister, Rouhani said that Iran-140 planes must be grounded until the incident is fully investigated.
The plane that crashed is a domestically assembled version of the Antonov-140.
In December 2002, an Iran-140 test flight crashed, killing at 46 people.
The Majlis Development Committee has been tasked with investigating the cause of the incident.
MP Mehrdad Lahouti said in an open session of the parliament on Sunday that members of the committee had expressed concern over the safety of the plane during a tour of the assembly plant of the twin-engine turboprop.
The member of the Majlis Development Committee said that Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization must not have granted flight permission for Iran-140 planes.
In separate statements, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Iranian Defense Ministry rejected news reports that the plane belonged to them.
Putin offers condolences
In a message published on the Kremlin website on Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to President Rouhani over the deaths in the plane crash, according to RIA Novosti.
“Accept my sincere condolences over the crash of a passenger plane over Tehran and the numerous human casualties. I ask that my words of sympathy and support be passed to those who lost their family and friends in the catastrophe,” Putin said.