The crew of the Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed in Iran did not make a radio call for help, and were trying to turn back to the airport when the plane went down, local investigators say.
The Boeing 737 crashed shortly after take off from an airport near Tehran yesterday killing all 176 passengers and crew aboard, including three Brits.
The airliner was on fire immediately before it crashed, according to an initial report by Iranian investigators.
The report by Iran’s civil aviation organisation cited witnesses on the ground and in a passing aircraft flying at high altitude as saying the jet was on fire while still aloft.
It had encountered a technical problem shortly after take-off and started to head towards a nearby airport before it crashed, the report said.
(Image: VIA REUTERS)
The technical problem was not specified in the Iranians’ report, which also said that there was no radio communication from the pilot and that the aircraft disappeared from radar at 8,000ft.
The three-year-old Ukrainian International Airlines plane went down shortly after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport at about 6.10am local time on Wednesday.
Iran had launched an early-morning missile assault targeting two US airbases in Iraq only hours before the crash, leading some to speculate that the plane may have been hit.
The initial assessment of Western intelligence agencies was that the plane had suffered a technical malfunction and had not been brought down by a missile.
(Image: VIA REUTERS)
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 downed flight along with three Britons, Ukrainian officials said yesterday.
The jet, which had its last scheduled maintenance on Monday, encountered a technical problem shortly after take-off and started to head toward a nearby airport before it crashed, the new report released this morning said.
A Canadian security source told Reuters there was evidence one of the jet’s engines had overheated.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy yesterday said the government was considering several possible causes of the plane crash.
(Image: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
He appealed to observers to refrain from speculation and conspiracy theories as he declared a day of national mourning.
He said that he would speak by telephone with the Iranian president to step up cooperation into the reason for the crash.
The three Brits who died in the Iran crash including Sam Zokaei, an engineer who worked for BP who was travelling back to London via Kyiv, Brighton businessman Mohammed Reza Kadkhoda-Zadeh, 40, and construction firm engineer Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi, 35, whose new wife, Niloofar Ebrahim, was also killed.