WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A Boeing 737 jet crashed about two minutes after takeoff on Wednesday morning killing all of its 176 passengers including flight crew members.
- State-owned media outlet Press TV reported that the crash resulted in a massive blaze that prevented emergency personnel at the crash site from assisting.
- According to the Ukrainian embassy, reports from ISNA said the crash was mainly caused by engine malfunction and not terrorism.
Shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s international airport, a Boeing 737 jet bound for the Ukrainian capital Kiev crashed, killing all 176 passengers on board, Iran’s Press TV reported.
Operated by Ukraine International Airlines, the plane took off early Wednesday morning carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members, according to Press TV citing senior public relations official of Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport, Ali Khashani.
Pirhossein Koulivand, Iran’s Emergency Medical Services head told IRINN, the state-run media outlet, that although emergency personnel was sent to the crash site, the fire was so massive and intense that nobody can assist. He also added that the crash site is located between the cities of Parand and Shahriar. According to FlightRadar 24 data, the crash likely occurred two minutes after takeoff. The flight-tracking service also added in a tweet that the jet was only in operation for about three and a half years.
According to the Ukrainian Embassy in Tehran, terrorism was ruled out as the cause, rather, initial reports indicated engine malfunction as the main cause. Earlier reports from Iran’s semi-official news agency said the crash was caused by technical problems.
Currently, investigations have already been started by Iran’s Civil Aviation Authority. In a Facebook post, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his condolences to the families of all the passengers and flight crew. He added that due to the crash, he will cut his Oman trip short and would immediately return to Kiev.
The crash also happened just days before David Calhoun formally takes on the job as the company’s new CEO after former CEO Dennis Muilenburg was fired in December following Boeing’s disastrous year. A spokesperson from Boeing said they are “aware of media reports out of Iran” and has told CNN that they are still gathering further details.
The American aviation company is still suffering from the aftermath of two deadly 737 Max crashes in March that led to the planes being grounded worldwide and the company suffering loses and delays in its bid to resume operations.