- Iran jettisons link to terrorism, alleges engine failure
- Airline suspends flights to Tehran
Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 to Ukraine’s capital Kyiv crashed just after taking off from Iran’s Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran at 06:12 local time (02:42 GMT).
Ukraine’s embassy in Tehran said engine failure caused the crash and there was no link to terrorism.
“According to preliminary information, the plane crashed as a result of an engine failure for technical reasons. Currently, the version of a terrorist attack is ruled out,” the embassy said on the Ukraine Foreign Ministry’s website.
Among the victims were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians including all the crew, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Britons and three Germans, Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was cutting short a trip to Oman and flying back to Kyiv. He warned against “speculation or unchecked theories regarding the catastrophe” until official reports were ready.
“My sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of all passengers and crew,” he said in a statement.
Some 168 passengers and nine crew members were confirmed to have been registered to fly on the aircraft.
Meanwhile, Ukraine International Airlines has suspended flights to Tehran indefinitely. The airline said that the aircraft had had its last scheduled maintenance on Monday.
Rescue teams have been sent to the crash site but the head of Iran’s Red Crescent told state media that it was “impossible” for anyone to have survived the crash.
Rescue workers had found one of the airliner’s black boxes, Iranian media reported.
Ukraine has organised special planes to fly to Iran to take back the bodies of those killed, pending Iran’s agreement, Mr Zelensky said.
With Agency reports
Note: This story is still unfolding and is subject to updates