A Kiev-bound Ukrainian plane crashed on Wednesday shortly after taking off from the Iranian capital city of Tehran, killing all the 176 people on board, authorities said.
Ali Kashani, a senior public relations official at Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport, said the Boeing 737 operated by the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) went down early Wednesday in the vicinity of Parand, a city in Robat Karim County, reports Press TV.
The plane caught fire after crashing likely due to technical problems.
Kashani added that the crash had not affected traffic at the port and that all other flights were taking place according to schedule.
The 176 people comprised 167 passengers and nine crew members, with Reza Jafarzadeh, a spokesman for Iran's Civil Aviation Organization, saying that most of the passengers were Iranians.
The head of Iran's Emergency Medical Services, Pir-Hossein Koulivand, said the fire had been extinguished and emergency crews were now collecting bodies.
Mansour Darajati, the director general of crisis management at the Tehran Governor's Office, said the Crisis Management Committee would shortly convene to investigate the cause of the crash.
However, Qassem Biniaz, an official at the Iranian Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, told IRNA news agency that the plane crashed after its engine caught fire.
The pilot made an unsuccessful attempt to control the plane when the fire erupted, he added.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday that efforts were being made to establish the circumstances of the crash, reports the BBC.
"My sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of all passengers and crew," he said in a statement.
Zelensky cut short a visit to Oman and returned to Kiev, the statement said.
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