Red Crescent personnel confirmed the death of 176 passengers and crew on board the Ukrainian plane that crashed on Wednesday minutes after taking off from the Imam Khomeini International Airport, south of Tehran.
The Boeing 737-800 operated by Ukrainian International Airlines took off from Imam Khomeini International Airport at 6:12 local time, and crashed about six minutes later, the ISNA agency said.
The spokesman for the international airport, Ali Kashani, said the plane bound for Kiev and carrying 167 passengers and nine crew crashed around Parand and Shahriar , about 60 kilometers southwest of Tehran.
According to the first reports, the cause of the accident was due to technical problems, while an investigation team was already at the scene of the accident, Iran’s civil aviation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh said.
Most of the passengers were Iranian citizens, but there were also foreigners on board.
Meanwhile, the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and said that his government works to understand the causes of the accident.
Boeing announced last Sunday that it will stop production of its 737 MAX star aircraft this month after it suffered fatal accidents in October 2018 in Indonesia and in March 2019 in Ethiopia, which together claimed the lives of 346 people, which forced to suspend its production, since the company fails to convince regulators that the airline is safe to travel.
The crisis has also cost the company about nine billion dollars and has hurt numerous suppliers and airlines.
At first it was said that a problem in the software had to do with the causes of two fatal accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia , whose device must be authorized by the regulatory body.
In October 2018, such an aircraft operated by the Indonesian Lion Air line crashed a few minutes after taking off from Jakarta, where the automatic systems did not work and ended up falling into the Java Sea, where 189 people died.
In March 2019, another accident occurred on a 302 Ethiopian Airlines flight, which was headed from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya. When the pilots tried to control the aircraft, the devices did not work and crashed losing 157 people.