All 65 passengers and crew members aboard the Aseman Airlines were feared dead after the carrier crashed near the town of Semirom in Central Iran on Sunday owing to the bad weather. The flight took off from Tehran’s Mehrabad airport and was flying to the city of Yasuj.
A representative for the airlines told local media that everyone was killed but it later issued a statement saying it could not reach the crash site and could not “accurately and definitely confirm” that there were no survivors.
Aseman Airlines had also initially said that sixty passengers and six crew members were on the carrier but it later confirmed that there were a total of 65 people as one passenger had missed the flight.
A television channel reported that bad weather prevented helicopters from searching the crash site but rescue workers were conducting search operations in the snow-laden areas of Mt. Dena by land. The mountain has more than 40 peaks, higher than 13,000 feet. Reports from media said that the plane vanished from radar screens 50 minutes after taking off from the Mehrabad airport.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani issued messages of condolences and the president asked the transport minister to conduct an investigation into the crash.
Unfortunately, such accidents are not rare as Iran has suffered from several plane crashes in the past few decades. As per officials, the U.S. sanctions have long prevented the country from buying spare parts or new aircrafts from the West but a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme has eased some of those sanctions, leading the way for Iran to upgrade their carriers.
While, Aseman has signed a deal last year to buy at least 30 Boeing 737 MAX jets, national carrier IranAir has ordered 80 planes from Boeing and 100 from Airbus.