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Ukraine plane crash today: Ukrainian plane with 180 aboard accidents in Iran World News

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TEHRAN: A Ukrainian plane carrying 176 people crashed on Wednesday shortly after Tehran’s main airport takeoff, killing everyone on board, Iranian state television and officials in Ukraine said.

The plane had taken off from Imam Khomeini International Airport in the Iranian capital when a fire hit one of its engines, said Qassem Biniaz, a spokesman for Iran’s Ministry of Roads and Transport. The pilot of the aircraft lost control of the aircraft, sending it to crash to the ground, Biniaz said, according to state news agency IRNA.

The aircraft carried 167 passengers and nine crew members from different nations on their flight to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, Biniaz said. The accident killed everyone on board, Iranian emergency officials and the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.

Flight data from the airport showed a Ukrainian 737-800 flown by Ukraine International Airlines took off Wednesday morning, then stopped sending data almost immediately after, according to the FlightRadar24 website. The airline did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, extended his condolences to the families of the victims. The country’s prime minister, Oleksiy Honcharuk, confirmed the number of victims.

“Our task is to establish the cause of the Boeing accident and provide all the necessary help to the families of the victims,” said parliament speaker Dmytro Razumkov in a Facebook statement.

Most of the passengers were Iranian nationals, Russian agency RIA Novosti reported, citing the Iranian authorities. Staff at Boryspil airport in Kiev, where the plane was headed, told The Associated Press that passengers on this flight are usually Iranian students returning to Ukraine after the winter break.

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Associated Press journalists who arrived at the crash site saw a wide field of debris strewn across farmland. The dead were among the wrecked pieces of the plane. Masked rescuers shouted about the noise of helicopters floating as they worked.

The accident came hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on two bases in Iraq that house US forces in retaliation for the assassination of Revolutionary Guard General Qassim Suleimani.

The Boeing 737-800 is a very common single-aisle twin-engine jetliner used for short to medium-range flights. Thousands of aircraft are used by airlines around the world.

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Introduced in the late 1990s, it is an older model than the Boeing 737 MAX, which has been grounded for nearly 10 months after two fatal accidents.

Several 737-800 aircraft have been involved in fatal 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 aboard. Another flight 737-800 from Dubai, operated by Air India Express, crashed in May 2010 while trying to land in Mangalore, India, killing more than 150 on board.

Chicago-based Boeing Co. was “aware of Iran’s media reports and we are gathering more information,” spokesman Michael Friedman told the AP.

Boeing, like other airline manufacturers, usually assists in accident investigations. However, that effort in this case could be affected by the U.S. sanctions campaign against Iran since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Tehran nuclear deal with world powers in May 2018.

Both Airbus and Boeing had been on the line to sell billions of dollars of aircraft to Iran during the deal, which saw Tehran limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. But Trump’s decision halted sales.

In decades of international sanctions, Iran’s fleet of commercial passenger planes has aged, and plane crashes occur regularly for domestic airlines in recent years, resulting in hundreds of casualties.

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