TEHRAN – A Ukraine International Boeing 737-800 has crashed in Iran on Wednesday morning, killing 176 people. All 167 passengers and 9 crew members were killed in the crash. The passenger aircraft came down shortly after it departed from Imam Khomeini International Airport in Theran, the capital of Iran.
Ukraine International Flight PS752 was heading to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, when it crashed – just 2 minutes after takeoff – between the cities of Parand and Shahriar.
According to Iran Students’ News Agency (ISNA), 176 people were on board the Boeing 737 of which 167 passengers and 9 crew members.
The passenger aircraft – a Boeing 737-8KV with registration UR-PSR – was 3.5 years old, having first flown on June 21, 2016. It was delivered to the Ukrainian airline on July 19, 2016 and it was the first 737 Next Generation aircraft purchased by Ukrainian International.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko announced the nationalities of the victims on Twitter: 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians (2 passengers + 9 crew members), 10 Swedes, 4 Afghans, 3 Germans and 3 British.
Ukrainian press agency ISNA also reports under the authority of the director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Iran that the pilots had not issued an emergency signal.
According to Iranian media, both black boxes have been found at the crash site. They may provide more clarity about the cause of the crash.
Boeing reports on its website that it’s aware of media reports from Iran and is collecting more information about the accident.
☆ Ukrainian experts are on their way to Tehran to assist with the investigation, the Ukrainian government said.
☆ Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky instructed the Ukrainian General Prosecutor to open a criminal investigation into the crash, Sputnik News reports.
☆ The Ukrainian Embassy in Iran initially said that preliminary details pointed to engine failure, but it retracted the statement shortly thereafter, The Washington Post reports.
☆ The Ukrainian Embassy in Iran said that anything was possible and refused to rule out that the plane was struck by a missile, The Telegraph reports.
☆ Iran’s Ministry of Roads and Urban Development released a statement that the aircraft burst into flames after a fire started in one of its engines, causing the pilot to lose control and crash into the ground, ABC News reports.
☆ According to aviation expert Vadim Lukashevich, it was clear there was a fire on board, however ruling out a shootdown would be premature: “An engine fire does not exclude the possibility that it was caused by a missile strike”, and “the fact that Iran immediately discounted all explanations bar mechanical is suspicious,” The Independent reports.
☆ According to a Canadian security source, the initial assessment of Western intelligence agencies is that the plane was not brought down by a missile and that the Boeing 737 plane had suffered a technical malfunction, saying there was some evidence one of the plane’s engines had overheated, Reuters reports.
☆ USA Today reported that the firm IHS Markit reviewed “photographs purportedly taken near the site of the crash to show the guidance section of an SA-15 Gauntlet” and “assesses them to be credible”, although they could not confirm their authenticity.
☆ Ukrainian authorities have said a shootdown was one of the “main working theories”, while Iranian authorities denied this. UK defense officials agreed with the American assessment of a shootdown, The Independent reported.
☆ According to U.S. officials, the Ukrainian International Boeing 737-800 probably crashed after being hit by an Iranian missile. U.S. Intelligence satellites detected infrared blips of 2 missile launches and signals were picked up by radar being turned on at the moment the Ukrainian passenger aircraft was flying in the area where the missiles were launched. Moments later another infrared blip of an explosion was detected.
☆ Iran has invited the U.S. NTSB to take part in its investigation into the crash of Ukraine Flight PS752. The NTSB has agreed to send an investigator, an Iranian official said on Thursday to Reuters.
☆ Iran admits on Saturday January 11, 2019 military accidently shot down Ukraine International Boeing 737.