Iran Aseman Airlines ATR 72 crashes in Iran, all on board dead

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Iran Aseman Airlines flight EP 3704 from Tehran (Mehrabad) to Yasuj in southern Iran has crashed.

ATR 72-212 EP-ATS was operating the flight in bad weather with 60 passengers and six crew members. The aircraft disappeared from radar over the Zagroz Mountains. The wreckage has now been found at around 13,000 feet. There are no survivors.

From Reuters:

All 66 passengers and crew were believed to have been killed in a plane crash in central Iran on Sunday, an airline spokesman said, after the domestic flight came down in bad weather in a mountainous region.

Operated by Iranian carrier Aseman Airlines, the plane crashed near the town of Semirom after taking off from Tehran’s Mehrabad airport, news agency ISNA quoted emergency services spokesman Mojtaba Khaledi as saying.

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.

“All…on board were unfortunately killed,” Aseman spokesman Mohammad Taqi Tabatabai told state television.

Rescue helicopters were unable to land at the probable crash site because of heavy fog and emergency workers were searching the mountainous area by land, the television report said.

“Heavy snow is making it difficult for rescuers to find the site of the crash,” a television reporter accompanying rescue teams told state television.

Media reports said the twin-engined turboprop ATR 72 disappeared from radar screens 50 minutes after taking off from Mehrabad airport.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani issued messages of condolences and the president asked the transport minister to lead an investigation into the crash.

Mehrabad is located in western Tehran and mainly functions as a domestic airport, although it also serves some international routes.

Iran has suffered several plane crashes in the past few decades. Tehran says U.S. sanctions have long prevented it from buying new aircraft or spare parts from the West. The crashed ATR was 25 years old, officials said.

Copyright Photo: Sister ship – Iran Aseman Airlines ATR 72-212 EP-ATZ (msn 398) THR (Shahram “Shary” Sharifi). Image: 907763.

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