Crash: Ukraine Airlines 737 downed near Tehran [update]
167 passengers and 9 crew were believed to be on board. All on board have died in the crash. All but 32 of the passengers were Iranian citizens.
The four-year-old Ukranian International Airlines plane was taking off around 6 am Tehran time from Imam Khomeini international airport in Tehran, heading for Kyiv. It went down eight minutes later according to tracking websites.
A video circulated by the ISNA news agency purports to show a plane on fire descending, and crashing with a flash of light has been uploaded to Twitter:
There is no apparent connection to missile strikes to bases in Iraq hosting coalition troops.
The 737-800 is one of the most popular planes in the world, and despite crashes occurring in 2010 and 2016 is regarded as one of the safest aircraft in the air. Unlike its next iteration, the Boeing 737 MAX which has now been grounded for nearly a year after two crashes within the space of 6 months.
A warning regarding metal fatigue in ‘pickle fork’ wing mountings was issued in 2019, which affected Qantas amongst many other airlines. There is no evidence that the Tehran crash and this issue are related.
It is far too early to know what the cause of this crash was, and if any passengers or crew survived. Casualties are inevitable, and our hearts go out to the families and friends of all affected.