Tehran, 8 January 2020 (dpa/MIA) – All passengers and crew on board a Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed near Tehran on Wednesday morning have died, a spokesman for Iran’s Red Crescent humanitarian organization said on state TV.
There were at least 173 people on the plane, the spokesman said. Previous reports from Iranian agency Isna said there were 180 people on board the Boeing 737.
The plane, which Russian media reported belonged to Ukraine International Airlines and was flying from Tehran to Kiev, departed at around 5 am (0130 GMT).
It crashed after take-off in an open field in the Tehran suburb of Parand.
The Iranian aviation authority cited a technical defect as the cause of the crash, Iranian broadcaster Chabar reported, citing a spokesman.
It was not immediately clear how authorities had come to that conclusion so soon after the crash on Wednesday morning.
Boeing tweeted simply that the company was aware of media reports and were gathering more information.
On the same day, the US Federal Aviation Administration barred commercial flights from entering Iranian and Iraqi airspace, after Iran launched missiles targeting US troops based in Iraq.
Heightened military activity and tensions in the region could present “an inadvertent risk” due to the “potential for miscalculation or mis-identification,” the FAA statement said.
It was not immediately clear whether there was any link between the crash and the escalation in conflict between the US and Iran.