No survivors: Passenger plane carrying 66 crashes into mountain in Iran

An Aseman Airlines ATR 72 plane (Image: Twitter/ @Khaaasteh)

A passenger plane carrying 66 people including one child has crashed into the snow-covered Dena Mountain in central Iran, killing everyone on board.

The Aseman Airlines plane, which had reportedly made an emergency landing earlier this month was flying from the capital Tehran to Yasuj when it vanished from radar about an hour after take-off.

The airline told Iranian media that all 60 passengers and six crew members on the ATR 72 twin-engine turboprop plane were killed.

Witnesses told local media that it appeared the aircraft was trying to make an emergency landing on a pasture before it crashed about 15 miles from its destination.

The crash site is near Semirom in Isfahan province, about 300 miles south of Tehran, but a helicopter carrying rescuers was unable to immediately land due to severe weather.

The plane took off from Tehran's Mehrabad Airport at about 8am local time on a roughly 90-minute journey to Yasuj, but soon disappeared from radar screens, sparking a wide search.

Spokesman Mohammed Tabatabai told reporters: "After searches in the area, unfortunately we were informed that the plane crashed. Unfortunately, all our dear ones lost their lives in this incident."

The six crew members were two pilots, two flight attendants and two security officers.

Iranian media published photos of the pilots, including the experienced captain, and the security guards, as well as a passenger list.

The plane crashed in Iran's Dena mountain range (Image: Eh kia)

Reports said the captain of the doomed plane was involved in an earlier emergency where he managed to land an aircraft at Yasuj airport following an engine failure in 2013.

TV news footage posted online showed devastated families waiting for updates at the airport in Yasuj. Relatives wept as they spoke to journalists about their loved ones and showed some of their final text messages.

The search was hampered by the remote location of the crash site and bad weather, including dense fog and high winds. Emergency workers were trying to reach the site by land after a helicopter was unable to land.

Mojtaba Khaledi, a spokesman for the national emergency services, told reporters: "Given the fact that the area is mountainous, it is not possible to send ambulances."

The ATR 72 plane involved in Sunday morning's crash was 25 years old, and had suffered a number of technical faults during its lifetime, it was reported.


JOIN THE CONVERSATION


next