Plane crashes at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport
A small passenger plane crashed into a residential complex in the Iranian capital of Tehran killing all 48 people on board including crew, Iranian state television reported on Sunday.
The official Iranian news agency IRNA said all 40 passenger on the plane were killed in the crash, citing a spokesperson from the Iranian Red Crescent Society.
The passengers included two infants and three children under the age of 12, the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.
The plane was bound for Tabas in northeastern Iran and crashed into the Azad residential block on Mina 6 Boulevard, it reported.
State television reported at least three people in the area were taken to hospital with burns.
IRNA reported that an engine shutdown on board the Iran-141 plane caused the crash.
Iran’s aviation sector has suffered repeated crashes which have been blamed by Iranian politicians on international sanctions.
Sanctions have restricted Iranian carriers from buying new aircraft. For years, planes have been kept in service through parts imported on the black market, cannibalised from other planes or reproduced locally, aviation sources say.
Iran’s four largest carriers – Iran Air, Iran Aseman Airlines, Mahan Air and Iran Air Tours – all have average fleet ages above 22 years, Iranian media have reported. They serve a market of 76 million people.
U.S. companies Boeing Co. and General Electric Co. have said they are seeking to export parts to Iran under the agreement for sanctions relief.
The chief of Iran Air said the airline will need at least 100 passenger jets once sanctions are lifted.
Mehrabad is located in a western suburb of Tehran and mainly functions as a domestic airport, although it also serves some international routes.
The Iran-141 is a small passenger plane produced in Iran with Ukrainian technology.