Plane crashes in central Iran; 65 confirmed dead

February 18, 2018

TEHRAN — A plane heading from Tehran to Yasouj, a city in the southwestern province of Kohgiluyeh-Boyerahmad, crashed into the mountain on Sunday morning, leaving 65 dead.

The ATR aircraft which departed at about 8 a.m. local time was first disappeared from radar and reportedly crashed into a mountainous region near Semirom town, Isfahan province, due to the bad weather conditions. 

While there were speculation that the plane might have not crashed and landed in a remote area somewhere, local media reported that the plane has been spotted.

According to Borna news agency, while snowstorm is sweeping the area where the crash has occurred, remains of the plane are spotted. The report was then denied by other news agencies. 

Because of the foggy weather and inaccessibility of the mountainous areas, emergency medical services have not succeeded to reach the area yet. However, it is confirmed that all 59 passengers as well as the 6 crew members, including two flight attendants, two pilots and two members of security forces have passed away. 

One of the passengers is said to miss the flight.   

Currently dozens of Red Crescents Society rescue and relief forces, as well as police and other officials are dispatched to the area. 

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and some other high ranking officials and celebrities have extended their condolences for the tragic incident. 

Aged aircraft fleet

The carrier was Aseman Airlines, a semi-private firm, which according to Flight Radar 24 has a fleet of 29 aircrafts including 6 ATR aircrafts. 

Over the 17th International Conference on Traffic and Transportation Engineering held here on Sunday, concurrent with the plane crash, Transport and Urban Development Minister Abbas Akhoundi regretted the fact that some 200 aircrafts in Iran age above 20 years. 

Iran’s air transport fleet requires some 500 aircrafts, Akhoundi said, stating, the problem is not only with air transport fleet, the road conditions as well as the rail transportation sector are facing the same issue.

He further highlighted that in order to renovate the aged aircraft fleet some $50 billion must be allocated to the sector. 
 
MQ/MG 

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