IranAir jet crashes in northwest Iran

An IranAir passenger plane crashes in the country's northwest, with around half of the 95 people on board surviving with light injuries, according to Iranian media.

An IranAir passenger plane crashed tonight in the country's northwest, and around half of the 95 people on board survived with light injuries, Iranian media reported.

The Boeing-727 operated by Iran's national airline crashed shortly before it was to land in the city of Orumiyeh, 700 kilometers northwest of the capital, Tehran, said Abbas Mosayebi, spokesman of the Iranian civil aviation organisation, state TV reported.

The semiofficial Fars news agency quoted the head of the State Emergency Canter, Gholam Reza Masoumi, as saying 50 people survived with light injuries. There was no information on the fate of the others.

Masoumi said heavy snow was complicating rescue efforts. That report also said there was fog in the area.

The plane was broken into several pieces, but there was no explosion or fire, said Mahmoud Mozaffar, head of the rescue department of Iran's Red Crescent Society, speaking on state TV.

Iran has a history of frequent air accidents blamed on its aging aircraft and poor maintenance. In July 2009 a Russian-made jetliner crashed in northwest Iran shortly after taking off from the capital, killing all 168 on board.

In February 2003 a Russian-made Ilyushin 76 carrying members of the Revolutionary Guard crashed in the mountains of southeastern Iran, killing 302 people aboard.

IranAir's fleet includes Boeing and Airbus aircraft, many of them bought before the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution. The airline also has some Russian-made Tupolev-145 jets.

* AP

Published: January 10, 2011 04:00 AM

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