The Jury Talks Back

1/8/2020

Ukrainian Airplane Crashes Near Tehran, No Survivors

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 7:23 am

[guest post by Dana]

From the AP:

A Ukrainian passenger jet carrying 176 people crashed on Wednesday, just minutes after taking off from the Iranian capital’s main airport, turning farmland on the outskirts of Tehran into fields of flaming debris and killing all on board.

The crash of Ukraine International Airlines came hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing U.S. soldiers, but Iranian officials said they suspected a mechanical issue brought down the 3½-year-old Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Ukrainian officials initially agreed, but later backed away and declined to offer a cause while the investigation is ongoing.

The plane carried 167 passengers and nine crew members from different nations. Ukraine’s foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, said that there were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians on board — the Ukrainian nationals included two passengers and the nine crew. There were also 10 Swedish, four Afghan, three German and three British nationals, he said.

According to the BBC, Ukrainian officials deleted their statement blaming engine failure for the crash, saying that any initial reporting about the cause of the accident prior to an investigation were unofficial. Further, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that “criminal proceedings” would be opened into the crash.

More on Iran’s reaction to the crash:

Iranian media blamed technical problems and quoted an aviation official who said no emergency had been declared.

In a sign of the potential difficulties facing crash investigators, the head of Iran’s civil aviation organisation was quoted as saying the Ukrainian plane’s black box would not be handed over, either to Boeing or the Americans.

Ali Abedzadeh said “terrorism” had played no role in the crash, Iran’s conservative Mehr news agency reported. Another official, Qasem Biniaz, blamed an engine fire. “Had the accident happened due to a missile strike, the plane would have exploded in the air,” he told the IRNA news agency.

The plane was reported to have gone through scheduled maintenance on Monday.

“It was one of the best planes we had, with an amazing, reliable crew,” the airline’s president, Yevhen Dykhne, said at a briefing[.]

A note about the recovered black boxes:

Iran’s aviation authority said it would not hand over to Americans the recovered black boxes…”We will not give the black boxes to the manufacturer (Boeing) and the Americans,” Iran Civil Aviation Organisation head Ali Abedzadeh said…”It’s not yet clear which country the black box will go to for the investigation,” he added.

–Dana

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