Iran Ukrainian plane crash, 176 people has crashed in Iran.
A Ukrainian Boeing-737 carrying 176 people has crashed in Iran and officials say there is no chance of finding survivors.
Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 to Kyiv went down after taking off from Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran at 06:12 local time (02:42 GMT).
The majority of passengers were from Iran and Canada.
Ukraine’s Tehran embassy initially blamed engine failure but later removed the statement.
It said any comment regarding the cause of the accident prior to a commission’s inquiry was not official. Iranian media blamed technical problems and quoted an aviation who said no emergency had been declared.
Debris and engine parts from the plane were found some 10km (6 miles) from the airport and rescue workers with face masks searched the wreckage for victims.
Who was on board?
Among the victims were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians including all nine crew, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Britons and three Germans, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said.
It was unclear why such a large number of Canadians were on board, however the airline provides relatively inexpensive flights via Kyiv to Iran.
Sweden’s foreign ministry said its embassy in Tehran was seeking further information about the crash. Foreign Minister Ann Linde said she had spoken to Mr Prystaiko.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was cutting short a trip to Oman and flying back to Kyiv. He warned against “speculation or unchecked theories regarding the catastrophe” until official reports were ready.
“My sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of all passengers and crew,” he said in a statement.
Ukraine International Airlines has suspended flights to Tehran indefinitely. The airline said that the Boeing 737-800 was built in 2016 and had its last scheduled maintenance on Monday.
There was no sign of any problems with the plane before take-off and the airline’s president said it had an “excellent, reliable crew”. UIA has never had a fatal crash before.
Mr Zelensky said Ukraine’s entire civil aviation fleet would be checked for airworthiness and criminal proceedings would be opened into the disaster.
Rescue teams have been sent to the crash site but the head of Iran’s Red Crescent told state media that it was “impossible” for anyone to have survived the crash.
Rescue workers had found one of the airliner’s black boxes, Iranian media reported.
Ukraine has organised special planes to fly to Iran to take back the bodies of those killed, pending Iran’s agreement, Mr Zelensky said.
What went wrong?
Aviation safety analyst Todd Curtis told the BBC that the Boeing aircraft involved in the crash had been delivered new to the airline.
“The airplane was heavily fragmented which means either there was an intense impact on the ground or something happened in the sky,” he said.
“From all appearances this was an airplane that had been properly cared for and there were no outstanding issues with respect to European authorities or American authorities so at this point there is nothing that points to a particular cause.”
Mr Curtis said Iranian, Ukrainian, US and French authorities would all be involved in the investigation, but it was unclear how they would work together. Iran is currently under US sanctions and there are severe tensions between the two countries.
“They will start putting together the story of what happened on that airplane… to see if there is something about the condition of the aircraft or the fuel on board that might have led to this,” he said.
“And also one cannot discount the possibility that something outside the aircraft, a mid-air collision or some other issue, may have been involved.”
There are several thousand Boeing 737-800s in operation around the world which have completed tens of millions of flights. They have been involved in 10 incidents, including this crash, where at least one passenger was killed, Mr Curtis said.
This is the first time a Ukraine International Airlines plane has been involved in a fatal crash.