Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, January 8, 2020—In the early hours of Wednesday, a Boeing 737-800 airliner crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran. The incident killed all passengers of the airplane, which was bound for Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.
The state-run ISNA news agency reported that the bodies of the passengers and crew were mutilated in the crash and it is difficult to identify them.
Most of the passengers were Iranian, according to Ukrainian media. Iranian officials declared that 147 of the passengers were Iranian and 32 were from other nationalities. Ukraine’s national security council said that 11 Ukrainian citizens died in the crash, including nine crew members.
Shortly after the incident, Boeing declared that it was investigating the incident.
Iranian officials claimed that the engine of the airplane caught fire and the flight’s crew were unable to regain control. State-run media also raised technical problems without further elaborating.
Other reports indicate that the airplane might have been targeted by the regime’s anti-aircraft units. Videos obtained from the scene show the airplane suddenly catching fire before the crash, which might be an indication of a targeted explosion.
Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahriar near Tehran
Further making the issue suspicious is the Iranian regime’s refusal to cooperate with investigations. Later in the day, the head of Tehran’s civil aviation organization declared that it will not give the black box of the crashed Ukrainian airliner to Boeing, the airplane’s manufacturer. Black boxes are used to investigate airplane incidents and are usually handed over to manufacturers for probes.
Ukraine’s embassy in Iran dropped an initial reference to engine failure as the cause of the airplane crash. The embassy also added that all flights through Iranian airspace by its airliners would be banned from January 9.