A Ukranian airplane Boeing 737 belonging to Ukraine International Airlines crashed near an airport in Tehran with all 176 passengers and crew killed on Wednesday.
“Obviously it is impossible that passengers on flight PS-752 are alive,” the head of Iran’s Red Crescent told news agency ISNA.
Earlier, Iran’s emergency services head Pirhossein Koulivand said, “The plane is on fire but we have sent crews … and we may be able to save some passengers.”
However, he said later on that the fire was so heavy that they could not rescue the passengers anymore.
According to the state TV report, the plane took off from Imam Khomeini International Airport, suspecting that the crash was due to mechanical issues.
Earlier reports said the Boeing 737 took off with 180 persons on board, but Ali Khashani, a senior public relations official at the airport, confirmed that it had 167 passengers and nine crew aboard.
Reza Jafarzadeh, a civil aviation spokesman, said an investigation team was at the site of the crash in southwestern outskirts of Tehran.
“After taking off from Imam Khomeini international airport it crashed between Parand and Shahriar,” Jafarzadeh said.
“An investigation team from the national aviation department was dispatched to the location after the news was announced.”
Based on the website of FlightRadar24, the flight data from the airport showed a Ukrainian 737-800 took off this morning, then stopped sending data shortly afterwards.
The crash followed after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack which targeted US bases in Iraq in ‘revenge’ for the death of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
In the meantime, the airline has yet to release its statement regarding the incident.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, however, expressed in a Facebook post his “sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of all passengers and crew members.”
He also said that the Ukranian embassy is “working to clarify information on the circumstances of the tragedy and the list of deceased passengers.”