66 'killed' in Iran plane crash

Randolph Lopez
February 20, 2018

Iranian rescue teams resumed their search on Monday for a passenger plane that disappeared high in the Zagros mountains the previous day with 66 people onboard, local media reported.

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency is saying that the death toll in a commercial airplane crash is 65.

The Aseman Airlines ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop used for short-distance regional flying, went down on Sunday in foggy weather, crashing into Mount Dena in southern Iran.

All on board Flight EP3704 were killed, including 59 passengers and six crew members.

"Even newer versions of this aircraft are not good for such cold places and it would be better not to use it for this route and especially with such bad weather and visibility", he said. However, President Donald Trump's refusal to recertify the deal has injected uncertainty into those sales.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said in a tweet on Sunday that the crash was "terrible news".

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Earlier air disasters include the crash of a Boeing 727 passenger plane in 2011 which killed 78 people in the northwest of Iran, and the 2009 crash of a Caspian Airlines Tupolev aircraft bound for Armenia which killed all 168 people on board. "So I called my brother and he said they will get here, it (the plane) is not behind schedule yet", a young woman told a reporter for state television.

Authorities said there was a lot of fog and rain and that hindered the efforts of the rescue crews.

"Given the fact that the area is mountainous, it is not possible to send ambulances", he said. Though the 2015 nuclear deal lifted some of those sanctions, many older planes are still in service.

Poor condition of aircraft is often cited as a reason Iran suffers has one of the world's worst air safety records.

Boeing, which is also building 80 planes for national carrier Iran Air, faces heavy criticism from USA lawmakers who say Iranian airlines have been used to ship weapons and troops to Syria and other conflict zones. Aseman Airlines is the third largest airline by the fleet size of Iran behind the state carrier Iran Air and Mahan Air.

Aviation accidents are unfortunately not uncommon in Iran, due to its aging aircraft fleets, inability to acquire American-made spare parts due to sanctions, and what some say is a matter of mismanagement.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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