A Ukrainian Boeing-737 carrying 176 people has crashed in Iran, and officials have confirmed there are no survivors.
Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 to Kyiv went down shortly after taking off from the Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran at 06:12 local time (02:42 GMT).
According to CNN, Ukraine’s Tehran embassy initially blamed “engine failure” for the crash but later removed the statement, opting instead to say any comment regarding the cause of the accident prior to a commission’s detailed inquiry was not official.
While officials have confirmed that the black box was recovered, Iran’s Civil Aviation Authority head, Ali Abedzadeh, said they will not hand the flight data recorders over to Boeing or the United States as part of their investigation.
Under international rules, the investigation into any air crash is held by the state of occurrence, which puts Iran in control. It’s unclear whether Iran’s denial is the result of their leading the investigation or the current animosity boiling between the two nations, prompting experts to advise that crash investigators will face potential difficulties.
Iranian media is already blaming technical problems as the cause and quoted an aviation official who said no emergency had been declared.
The plane, a Boeing 737-800, is a predecessor to the company’s 737 Max, which has been grounded since March of 2019 after its involvement in two fatal crashes that killed 346 people.
The three-year-old Boeing aircraft carrying 176 people, including 167 passengers and nine crew members, lost contact just two minutes after takeoff.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko shared that among the victims were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Britons, and three Germans and that fifteen of whom- were children.
Boeing will face additional scrutiny as a factor in determining why this plane crashed. The company issued a statement Wednesday expressing condolences for the latest crash.
“This is a tragic event, and our heartfelt thoughts are with the crew, passengers, and their families. We are in contact with our airline customers and stand by them in this difficult time. We are ready to assist in any way needed,” said Boeing’s statement.