Yesterday News – Today News : Iran passenger plane crash ‘kills 70’

09/01/2011 – 17:43 –

An Iranian passenger plane with more than 100 people on board has crashed, killing at least 70 people, according to the state news agency Irna.

Thirty-two people were injured, the agency said, quoting deputy head of the Iranian Red Crescent Heidar Heidari.

The IranAir plane was flying from the capital Tehran when it came down near the north-western city of Orumiyeh – which was its final destination.

Reports said it crashed in bad weather, and snow was hampering rescue efforts.

“At least 70 people have been killed and 32 others were injured in the crash,” Mr Heidari said, according to Irna.

“The death toll is expected to increase.”

Earlier reports had said that 50 people survived the crash.

The plane came down near Orumiyeh, 700km (430 miles) north-west of Tehran, at around 1945 local time (1615 GMT), an official in West Azerbaijan province said earlier, quoted on Iranian state television’s website.

The official said the plane had taken off an hour later than scheduled, and came down because of bad weather conditions.

The head of Iran’s emergency services, Gholam Reza Masoumi, said rescue work was being made more difficult by heavy snow, which was around 70cm (27 inches) deep around the crash site.

His remarks were quoted by the semi-official Fars news agency.

Old planes

There have been a number of accidents involving Iranian planes over the last few years.

The last major crash was in July 2009, when a plane caught fire mid-air and crashed in northern Iran, killing 168 people.

In 2003 an Iranian troop carrier crashed in the southeast, killing all 276 soldiers and crew on board.

Iran’s civil fleet is made up of planes in poor condition due to their old age and lack of maintenance.


30 June:  Indonesian Hercules C-130 military transport plane crashes into a residential area of Medan. The army says all 122 people on board died, along with at least 19 on the ground.

24 March: Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner crashes in the French Alps near Digne, on a flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf. All 148 people on board were feared dead.

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