A plane carrying a total of 66 people, including passengers and crew members, crashed into the Iran’s Zagros mountains on Sunday, killing all on-board.
According to the details provided, the Aseman Airlines flight took off from Tehran’s Mehrabad airport at around 8:00 in the morning for the city of Yasuj in Isfahan province. However, when the plane reached the Zagros range, it crashed into the Dena mountain which is around 23 kilometers from Yasuj.
“After searches in the area, unfortunately we were informed that the plane crashed. Unfortunately, all our dear ones lost their lives in this incident,” Mohammad Tabatabai, public relations director for Aseman Airlines, told state broadcaster IRIB.
The plane was carrying 60 passengers, including one child, and six crew members. So far it is not clear how the plane crashed, but it is being speculated that the aircraft was very old and probably had some flaw. Tabatabai said the plane that crashed on Sunday was a twin-engine turboprop ATR-72.
Due to the mountainous terrain, vehicles could not reach the crash site and hence, helicopters had to be dispatched for rescue work.
A helicopter sent by Iran’s national emergency services was unable to land at the site of the accident due to severe weather, its spokesman said.
The Relief and Rescue Organisation of Iran’s Red Crescent said it had dispatched 12 teams to the region.
“Given the fact that the area is mountainous, it is not possible to send ambulances,” Mojtaba Khaledi, spokesman for the national emergency services, told ISNA news agency.
Due to the international sanctions imposed on Iran, the country is left with an ageing fleet of passenger planes which it is struggling to maintain.
Condolences to the family members of the victims have been pouring in from the world over.