SHAHEDSHAHR, Iran (AP) A Ukrainian passenger jet carrying 176 people crashed today, just minutes after taking off from the Iranian capitals main airport, turning farmland on the outskirts of Tehran into fields of flaming debris and killing all on board.
The crash of Ukraine International Airlines came hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing U.S. soldiers, but Iranian officials said they suspected a mechanical issue brought down the 3½-year-old Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Ukrainian officials initially agreed, but later backed away and declined to offer a cause while the investigation is ongoing.
The plane carried 167 passengers and nine crew members from different nations. Ukraines foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, said that there were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians on board the Ukrainian nationals included two passengers and the nine crew. There were also 10 Swedish, four Afghan, three German and three British nationals, he said.