Iran plane crash: First picture of Brit dad killed in jet disaster which left 176 dead

This is the first picture of one of three Britons killed in a fiery plane crash in Iran that killed all 176 on board.

Businessman Mohammed Reza Kadkhoda-Zadeh, 40, travelled back to his native Iran to see family over the Christmas period and was due to return to the UK via Ukraine on Wednesday.

The father-of-one lived a three-bedroom terraced house in Brighton, East Sussex, and ran a dry cleaning business, Mr Smarty’s, in nearby Hassocks.

Another British man, construction firm engineer Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi,from Brentwood, Essex, was also killed, along with his new wife.

The third Briton who died was BP engineer Sam Zokaei, who lived in south-west London.

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Newlyweds Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi, 35, and Niloofar Ebrahim were also killed

At his parents’ three-bedroom home in Haywards Heath, Mr Kadkhoda-Zadeh’s father, Mahmoud, 67, fought back tears as he said: “I have no words sorry. I cannot speak.”

A family friend of the Brighton businessman said: “He was his parents only son. It is so dreadful.

“We only heard about it in the morning. It is so so bad at the moment.”

Friends and neighbours have paid tribute to the “quiet, polite and lovely” business owner as the cause of the crash was not immediately clear.

It came hours after hours after an Iranian missile attack on US-led forces in Iraq.

Follow our live blog for updates on the plane crash.

Sam Zokaei, an engineer with BP, was one of three Britons killed in the crash

Mr Mr Kadkhoda-Zadeh ran a dry cleaning business in East Sussex (Image: Brighton Pictures)

A student, who rented a room in his house, said: “He’s very lovely man. He is friendly and polite and we get on very well indeed.

“I am renting a room here and studying in Brighton to improve my English and we got along very well right from the start.

“He had gone to Iran to see friends and I think some family over Christmas and was due back today.”

Mr Kadkhoda-Zadeh, who was known to friends as Reza, had a nine-year-old daughter and was divorced.

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Mr Tahmasebi and his new wife recently got married in his native Iran and were travelling back to the UK to start their life together, according to family.

The 35-year-old was an engineer with construction firm Laing O’Rourke, a researcher PhD candidate at Imperial College London and a graduate of the universities of Surrey, Greenwich and Tehran, according to his Facebook profile.

Mr Tahmasebi lived in Brentwood, Essex, with his sister Salume, according to family.

He had lived and worked in Britain for more than 15 years and recently married his wife in the UK.

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All passengers and crew died when the plane went down after take-off (Image: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The newlyweds had travelled to Iran to have a ceremony there.

Mr Tahmasebi’s brother-in-law, Amir Vaheat, 42, said the family were distraught with grief.

Mr Vaheat told the Times: “Saeed had just got married, he and his wife were on the way back home to start their life together.

“We spoke to him when he was boarding so we knew he was on the flight, then at about 5.30am this morning UK time we heard the plane had crashed.

“My wife is going crazy, we cannot believe it. Saeed was such a nice man. All his friends are coming round trying to help, but it is too much for words.”

Mr Tahmasebi lived in Brentwood, Essex, and worked as an engineer

All 176 passengers and crew died when the Ukrainian International Airlines plane crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran at about 6.10am local time on Wednesday.

Iranian officials said one of the Boeing 737’s engines was on fire when it went down en route to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, from Imam Khomeini airport.

Mr Kadkhoda-Zadeh was sitting in seat 6C, according to a passenger list released by Ukraine’s government.

Stephen Edgington, who runs Hassocks Pet Centre, located next to Smarty’s, said: “It is so shocking and it is very upsetting for everyone who knew him.

“He was a lovely man, very quiet and polite but a really nice guy – we got on very well indeed and it is a tragedy.”

Iranian state TV broadcast footage of burning debris at the crash site (Image: IRINN/AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Kadkhoda-Zadeh’s daughter would often sit in the pet centre and play with the cats there.

Mr Edgington said: “She is a lovely girl and both his ex-wife and him were very nice people. You couldn’t fault him. It is such a shock.”

The two other Britons killed in the crash were also men, according to a passenger list released by Ukraine.

The Foreign Office said it is “urgently seeking confirmation” of the British death toll.

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A Foreign Office spokesman added: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of life in the plane crash in Iran overnight.

“We are urgently seeking confirmation about how many British nationals were on board and will do all we can to support any families affected.”

Melinda Simmons, British ambassador to the Ukraine, said her thoughts are with those affected.

Some 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 people from the Ukraine, nine of whom were crew members, 10 Swedes, four Afghans and three Germans were on board the flight along with three Britons, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said.

Passengers’ belongings are seen amid a search at the crash site (Image: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Ukraine has ordered a criminal investigation into the crash, which happened amid escalating tension in the region.

Earlier in the morning, Iran fired ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases used by US troops.

Qassem Biniaz, a spokesman for Iran’s Road and Transportation Ministry, said it appeared a fire had started in one of the plane’s engines.

The pilot then lost control of the plane, sending it crashing into the ground, Mr Biniaz said, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

Iranian officials say one of the plane’s engines was on fire when it went down (Image: VIA REUTERS)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said: “An investigation commission should be set up of representatives of the civil and aviation agencies responsible for civil aviation. We have to work out all the possible versions.

“Regardless of the conclusions regarding the causes of the Iranian catastrophe, the airworthiness of the entire civilian fleet will be tested.

“I keep all measures on personal control. I very much ask everyone to refrain from speculation and putting forward untested versions of the disaster before the official announcements.”

The airline said it had suspended flights to Tehran until further notice. It also said that the Boeing 737-800 was one of the best in its fleet and was flown by experienced pilots.

Airline officials said there was no sign that anything was wrong before the plane took off and that it had last been routinely serviced two days before the disaster.

The cause of the plane crash is being investigated by Iranian and Ukrainian officials (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

The plane had mostly been carrying passengers planning to transit via Ukraine to destinations in Europe.

A Boeing statement said: “This is a tragic event and our heartfelt thoughts are with the crew, passengers, and their families.

“We are in contact with our airline customer and stand by them in this difficult time.

“We are ready to assist in any way needed.”

The airline said the aircraft was a 737-800, built in 2016.

A number of 737-800 models have been involved in deadly accidents over the years.

In March 2016, a FlyDubai 737-800 from Dubai crashed while trying to land at Rostov-on-Don airport in Russia, killing 62.

A 737-800 flight from Dubai, operated by Air India Express, crashed in May 2010 while trying to land in Mangalore, India, killing more than 150 people.

However, it is a different model to the Boeing 737 Max 8 jets, which were grounded around the world following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that killed 157 people shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa in March last year.

This article was originally published on this site.

This article was originally published on this site