A Ukrainian airliner with at least 170 people on board crashed on Wednesday due to technical problems soon after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported.
All 170 on board the Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed in Iran have been killed, Iran’s State Television has said.
Rescue teams have been sent to an area near the airport where the Boeing 737 belonging to Ukraine International Airlines crashed, Reza Jafarzadeh, a spokesman for Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, told state television.
“The plane is on fire but we have sent crews … and we may be able to save some passengers.” Pirhossein Koulivand, head of Iran’s emergency services, told the television. Jafarzadeh put the number of passengers at 170.
Earlier, news agency Reuters had reported that 180 people were on board at the time of the incident.
Earlier on Tuesday, Iran launched over a dozen ballistic missiles targeting at least two bases where US military and coalition forces’ are stationed in Iraq, the Pentagon said.
According to Iranian state TV, the attacks were in revenge for the killing of the commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards, General Qasem Soleimani, in a US drone strike on Friday, which was ordered by President Donald Trump.
Iran said it had carried out and “concluded” its reprisal over the killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani when it targeted US forces in Iraq with a missile strike.
“Iran took and concluded proportionate measures in self-defence” targeting a base from which a “cowardly armed attack against our citizens and senior officials” was launched, said Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Twitter. “We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”
Shortly after the missile attacks, Trump tweeted, “All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well-equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.”
Officials said President Trump has been briefed and he is monitoring the situation.
“We are working on initial battle damage assessments,” Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said. Hoffman said around 5:30 pm on January 7, “Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against US military and coalition forces in Iraq”.
“It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting US military and coalition personnel at Al-Assad and Irbil, he said.