Iran Refuses to Give Black Box of Crashed Ukraine Plane: Report

The plane, a Boeing 737, crashed near Iran’s International Imam Khomeini airport. 

3 min read

Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim

Iran has refused to give the black box of the crashed Ukranian airliner to plane-maker Boeing, Reuters reported, quoting the head of Tehran’s civil aviation organisation on Wednesday, 8 January.

A Ukranian airliner crashed and exploded shortly after take-off from Tehran early on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s embassy in Iran has issued a new statement on the plane crash, omitting the mention of engine failure as the cause, Reuters said in its report.

As per the report, Ukraine’s Embassy in Iran has said any previous comments about the cause of the crash were not official.

Earlier, the Ukrainian Embassy in Tehran had said the plane went down "due to an engine problem". It said that "an act of terror is ruled out" for the moment, adding that the Ukrainian ambassador was at the crash site, according to AFP.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had warned against speculation about the crash, AFP reported.

According to a spokesperson for Iran's Road and Transportation Ministry, the plane – a Boeing 737 – had taken off from Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran when a fire struck one of its engines, after which the pilot lost control.

Visuals showed the plane on fire before an explosion takes place on the ground.

The plane was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from different nations on its flight to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

The crashed plane had 82 Iranians and 63 Canadians on board, AFP reported, quoting a Ukraine minister.

Ukraine Leader Warns Against 'Speculation'

"I ask everyone to keep from speculating and putting forth unconfirmed theories about the crash," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Facebook, as he cut short a holiday in Oman and flew back to Ukraine.

Zelensky ordered the creation of a crisis team to handle the accident including top ministers and managed by the country’s national security agency.

The agency said it has information about 168 passengers who had checked in for the flight as well as nine crew members, putting the total estimated number of people on the plane at 177.

"We have prepared emergency planes to send to Tehran... to fly out the bodies of the victims, we are waiting a confirmation by Iran for their departure," Zelensky wrote, according to AFP.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian airline to which the crashed Boeing 737 is said to belong to was built in 2016 and was checked only two days before the accident.

"The plane was manufactured in 2016, it was received by the airline directly from the (Boeing) factory. The plane underwent its last planned technical maintenance on 6 January 2020," Ukraine International Airlines said in a statement, according to AFP.

Crash Comes After Iran Launches Ballistic Missile Attack

An investigation team was at the site of the crash in the southwestern outskirts of Tehran, said civil aviation spokesperson Reza Jafarzadeh, according to the Associated Press.

Flight data from the airport showed a Ukrainian 737-800 flown by Ukraine International Airlines took off on Wednesday morning, then stopped sending data almost immediately afterward, according to website FlightRadar24.

The crash came hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack targeting two bases in Iraq housing US forces in retaliation for the killing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ General Qassem Soleimani.

(With inputs from the Associated Press and AFP.)

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