Ukraine International Airlines 737 crashes in Iran, more than 170 killed
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This post has been updated with new information.
A Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft crashed early Wednesday morning shortly after taking off from Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA), killing all 167 passengers and nine crew members on board, according to preliminary information.
Flight PS752 had just taken off from Tehran, bound for Kiev Boryspil Airport (KBP) in Ukraine when the aircraft crashed. The cause of the crash was not immediately known. The Ukrainian embassy in Iran originally issued a statement saying that the cause of the crash was engine failure, though it later removed that statement, saying, “any statements regarding the causes of the accident prior to the decision of the commission are not official.”
The Boeing 737-800 NG, registered as UR-PSR, was nearly 4 years old, having been delivered to the airline in July 2016, according to PlaneSpotters.net. During a press conference, a spokesperson for the airline said the aircraft had last been serviced on Jan. 6 and there had been nothing wrong with the plane.
The actual flight path of flight PS752 shows how quickly the flight ended after takeoff.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged the public not to speculate on the exact cause of the crash. According to Iran state media, the black box of the aircraft has already been recovered in Iran.
“UIA representatives are currently clarifying the exact number of passengers on board”, the airline said in an emailed statement. “The airline expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the air crash and will do everything possible to support the relatives of the victims. With immediate effect, UIA has decided to suspend its flights to Tehran until further notice”.
On Wednesday morning, Ukraine International Airlines closed reservations for its Kiev to Tehran service. The airline flies the route 5 times a week. The flights scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday show cancelled, and flights after Jan. 10 have been removed from flight inventory.
Boeing said on Twitter that it was aware of the incident and in the process of gathering additional information.
We are aware of the media reports out of Iran and we are gathering more information.
— The Boeing Company (@Boeing) January 8, 2020
The NG variant of the 737 involved in the UIA crash is different to the MAX variant. The 737 MAX has been subject to worldwide grounding for almost a year following two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019. There are currently more than 7,000 737 NG aircraft in operation around the globe.
This is a developing story. Keep following TPG for more details as they come to hand.
Featured image by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images.
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