Wednesday, December 12, 2018 | ePaper

Iran teams find wreckage of plane in Zagros mountains

  • Print


Rescuers search for the wreckage of Aseman Airlines flight EP3704 in Iran's Zagros mountains.

AFP, Tehran, Iran :
Iranian search teams found the wreckage on Tuesday of a plane that went missing in the Zagros mountains two days earlier with 66 people on board, a spokesman said.
Aseman Airlines flight EP3704 disappeared in the Zagros range on Sunday morning, around 45 minutes after taking off from Tehran.
After two days of heavy snow and fog, the weather finally cleared on Tuesday morning, giving helicopter teams much better visibility.
"The Revolutionary Guards' helicopters this morning found the wreckage of the plane on Dena mountain," spokesman Ramezan Sharif told state broadcaster IRIB.
An IRIB reporter who spoke to one of the pilots said he had seen "scattered bodies around the plane" and that it was located in Noghol village, around 4,000 metres (13,000 feet) up Dena mountain.
"Since yesterday the Guards' drones started carefully identifying the geographical area where the plane had probably crashed and this morning two helicopters of the air forces were dispatched to the location," Sharif said.
Snowmobiles were deployed earlier on the 4,409-metre (14,465-foot) peak, where more than 100 mountaineers have also been aiding the search."Last night, a number of people stayed on the mountain and through coordination with local guides managed to search all crevices," Mansour Shishefuroosh, head of a regional crisis centre, told the ISNA news agency.
Some 500 images taken by drones were being analysed overnight, he added.
The ATR-72 twin-engine plane, in service since 1993, flew early Sunday from Mehrabad airport towards the city of Yasuj, some 500 kilometres (300 miles) to the south.
Poor visibility meant some 60 helicopter sorties on Monday could find no trace of the plane.
A team of crash investigators from French air safety agency BEA were also due to arrive in Iran on Monday, but their arrival had not yet been confirmed.
The incident has reawakened concerns over aviation safety in Iran, which has been exacerbated by international sanctions over the years.
Aseman Airlines was blacklisted by the European Commission in December 2016.
It was one of only three airlines barred over safety concerns-the other 190 being blacklisted due to broader concerns over oversight in their respective countries.
Iran has complained that sanctions imposed by the United States have jeopardised the safety of its airlines and made it difficult to maintain and modernise ageing fleets.
Aseman was forced to ground many of its planes at the height of the sanctions due to difficulties in obtaining spares.
In a working paper presented to the United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2013, Iran said US sanctions were blocking "the acquisition of parts, services and support essential to aviation safety".
Iran has suffered multiple aviation disasters, most recently in 2014 when 39 people were killed as a Sepahan Airlines plane crashed just after take-off from Tehran, narrowly avoiding many more deaths when it plummeted near a busy market.
But figures from the Flight Safety Foundation, a US-based NGO, suggest Iran is nonetheless above-average in implementing ICAO safety standards.
Lifting sanctions on aviation purchases was a key clause in the nuclear deal that Iran signed with world powers in 2015.
Following the deal, Aseman Airlines finalised an agreement to buy 30 Boeing 737 MAX jets for $3 billion (2.4 billion euros) last June, with an option to buy 30 more.

More News For this Category

Four-year-old Palestinian boy dies of wounds from Israeli fire

Al Jazeera News :A four-year-old Palestinian boy has died after being injured by Israeli gunfire at a routine protest near the fence with Israel, Gaza's health authorities said.The Ministry

India's ruling Hindu nationalists suffer blow in state elections

Al Jazeera News :India's ruling party lost power in three key states on Tuesday, dealing Prime Minister Narendra Modi his biggest defeat since he took office in 2014 and

Thumbs up

Thumbs up" pics for Myanmar Reuters reporters as they mark year in jail

AFP :Messages of solidarity poured in Wednesday from around the world on the one-year anniversary of the arrest of two Myanmar Reuters journalists who exposed a massacre of Rohingya

France hunts gunman after three killed at Strasbourg Christmas market

France hunts gunman after three killed at Strasbourg Christmas market

AFP  :Hundreds of police hunted Wednesday for a gunman who shot dead three people and wounded 13, eight seriously, at a famed Christmas market in Strasbourg, on the French

Trump says he stands by Saudi crown prince

Al Jazeera News :US President Donald Trump has reiterated his support for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, despite CIA assessment that the Saudi royal ordered

May hit by leadership challenge over Brexit deal

May hit by leadership challenge over Brexit deal

AFP :British MPs launched a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Theresa May over her Brexit plan on Wednesday but she vowed to fight off the leadership challenge, warning that

Ex US senators warn of `constitutional crisis` under Trump

Ex US senators warn of `constitutional crisis` under Trump

AP, Washington :Forty-four former US Senators from both major US parties warned Monday of threats to US democracy under President Donald Trump, and a "constitutional crisis" for America.They said the

Modi stares at biggest election loss since coming to power

Modi stares at biggest election loss since coming to power

Reuters, New Delhi :India's ruling party could lose power in three key states, four TV networks said on Tuesday, citing votecount leads, potentially handing Prime Minister Narendra Modi his biggest

EU offers new Brexit deal clarity, won't renegotiate: Juncker

EU offers new Brexit deal clarity, won't renegotiate: Juncker

Reuters, Strasbourg  :The European Union is willing to give Britain further clarifications on its Brexit deal but will not renegotiate the treaty or its protocol on the Irish border, EU

China warns against 'bullying' of its citizens

China warns against 'bullying' of its citizens

AFP, Beijing :China's foreign minister warned Tuesday against the "bullying" of any Chinese citizen, amid a diplomatic fracas over the arrest of a Huawei executive on a US warrant in