A Ukrainian passenger jet carrying 176 people crashed on Wednesday morning minutes after taking off from the Iranian capital’s main airport, turning farmland on the outskirts of Tehran into fields of flaming debris and killing all on board.
The plane had 167 passengers and nine crew members on board.
Ukraine’s foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, said there were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians on the plane.
The Ukrainian nationals included two passengers and the nine crew. There were also 10 Swedish, four Afghan, three German and three British nationals, Prystaiko said.
The plane’s departure from Imam Khomeini International Airport was delayed by almost an hour. It took off to the west but never made it above 8,000 feet, according to data from the flight-tracking website FlightRadar24.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy extended his condolences to the families of the victims and ordered a sweeping inspection of all civil airplanes in the country, “no matter the conclusions about the crash in Iran”.
Qassem Biniaz, a spokesman for Iran’s Road and Transportation Ministry, said it appeared one of the engines caught fire. The pilot then lost control, sending the plane crashing, Biniaz was quoted as saying by the state-run IRNA news agency.