Ukrainian Boeing 737 jet crashes in Iran just after takeoff, killing 176 people

A Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 jet carrying 176 people crashed tonight after taking off from Tehran’s international airport, killing all aboard, Iranian news media reported.

  • Records indicate that the Kyiv-bound airplane was delivered to Ukraine International Airlines just three and a half years ago. Initial Iranian reports suggested that the crash was caused by mechanical problems. The state-run IRNA news agency quoted an Iranian transportation official as saying that fire broke out in the jet’s engine section minutes after takeoff early Wednesday (Tehran time), and that the pilot subsequently lost control of the plane.
  • BNO News tweeted pictures purporting to show uniform-clad emergency personnel walking amid the wreckage. The Iranian Students’ News Agency tweeted a nighttime video that it described as the “first video of Ukrainian plane crashing near Shahriar,” but its authenticity couldn’t be immediately confirmed. Iranian officials said the crash was unrelated to the U.S.-Iran crisis, but some outside experts said it was too early to rule out a missile strike as the cause.
  • In a tweeted statement, Boeing said, “We are aware of the media reports out of Iran and we are gathering more information.” Boeing is mired in the aftermath of two catastrophic crashes that occurred just after the takeoffs of 737 MAX planes in October 2018 and March 2019. However, investigators have attributed those crashes to a software flaw that was specific to 737 MAX planes rather than the earlier-generation 737-800.

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