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Iran Ukrainian plane crash, What we know so far

Iran Ukrainian plane crash, What we know so far.

Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 crashed shortly after taking off from the Iranian capital Tehran on Wednesday, killing all 176 passengers and crew members on board.

The reason for the crash, involving one of the international airline industry’s most widely used aircraft models, is still under investigation.

Iranian authorities have blamed technical issues, but the crash’s timing – just hours after Iran launched missiles at US targets in Iraq – provoked speculation about other possible causes.

On Thursday media reports emerged, citing US intelligence officials, that there was evidence it had been shot down.

This is what we know so far.

What do Iranian authorities say?
An initial report was released by Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation on Thursday.

It said the Boeing 737-800 suffered a technical problem shortly after take-off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport and cited witnesses, including the crew of another passenger plane, that it was on fire prior to impact.

Authorities said they lost radar contact when the plane was at an altitude of about 8,000ft (2,400m), minutes after taking off at 06:12 local time (02:42 GMT).

No radio distress call was made by the pilot, the report said.

“The plane, which was initially headed west to leave the airport zone, turned right following a problem and was headed back to the airport at the moment of the crash,” the Iranian aviation authority added.

Tom Burridge, the BBC’s transport correspondent, said the rapid disappearance of tracking data suggested a catastrophic incident occurred.

Some aviation experts have cast doubt on claims, made shortly after the crash on Iranian state media, that the crash was likely to have been caused by an engine fire.

Commercial aircraft are designed to be able to withstand – in general – a failed engine and to land safety. Engine maker CFM described Wednesday’s speculation over the crash as “premature”.

The aircraft’s “black boxes”, which record flight data and sound within the cockpit, were recovered from the wreckage.

Iran’s civil aviation chief, Ali Abedzadeh, told national media they would not hand over the devices to Boeing or to US authorities.

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