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Iran plane crash: All 66 people on board dead – airline

Sixty-six people have been killed in a passenger plane crash in Iran, airline company officials say.

The Aseman Airlines plane, en route from Tehran to the south-western city of Yasuj, came down in the Zagros mountains.

The Red Crescent deployed search and rescue teams to the site near the city of Semirom in Isfahan province.

Flight EP 3704 left Tehran at 08:00 local time (04:30 GMT) and disappeared from radar about an hour later.

The aircraft crashed on Dena Mountain, 22km (14 miles) from Yasuj, news channel Irinn reported.

The plane was a French-made twin-engine turboprop ATR 72-500.

Those on board were 60 passengers, two security guards, two flight attendants and the pilot and co-pilot.

“After searches in the area, unfortunately we were informed that the plane crashed. Unfortunately, all our dear ones lost their lives in this incident,” airline spokesman Mohammad Tabatabai said.

A child was among the victims, emergency services head Pir Hossein Kulivand was quoted as saying.

Bad weather had hampered rescue efforts. Emergency teams had to travel to the crash site by land rather than using a helicopter, Mr Kulivand said.

Ageing fleet

Iran has suffered several aviation accidents in recent years and has an ageing aircraft fleet.

The country has struggled to maintain its planes in the face of international sanctions imposed to curb its nuclear programme.

Those sanctions have been mostly lifted under a 2015 deal between Iran and the US alongside several other powers.

Aseman, Iran’s third largest airline, signed a contract with Boeing last year to buy 30 of its latest medium-range 737s.

Iran Tehran Semirom map
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Recent air accidents

2018

11 February: Russian Antonov An-148 crashes minutes after leaving Moscow’s Domodedovo airport with 71 people on board. The plane was en route to the city of Orsk in the Ural mountains when it crashed near the village of Argunovo, about 80km (50 miles) south-east of Moscow.

2017

No passenger jet crashes – safest year on record for commercial airlines

2016

25 December: Russian military Tu-154 jet airliner crashes in the Black Sea, with the loss of all 92 passengers and crew.

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