Skip to comments.Iranian Passenger Plane Crashes
Posted on 02/12/2002 6:55:50 AM PST by erikm88
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) An Iranian passenger plane carrying at least 118 people crashed Tuesday in the snowy mountains of western Iran near Khorramabad, officials said.
No details on the number injured or killed were immediately available, nor was there information on the cause of the crash.
Search teams were sent to the site, said Reza Jaafarzadeh, a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran. But they were having difficulty reaching the crash scene due to heavy snow in the Sefid Kouh mountains, the organization said in a statement.
An official in Khorramabad, identified by state television only as Manzari, said search teams that had neared the site had found one of the plane's tires.
Government spokesman Abdullah Ramezanzadeh told the official Islamic Republic News Agency that 105 passengers and 13 crew members were aboard Flight 956. Earlier, Jaafarzadeh told The Associated Press that at least 117 passenger and crew were on board.
Iranian television reported that the plane crashed into the Sefid Kouh mountains, 15 miles west of Khorramabad.
The Tu-154, a Russian-made Tupolev operated by state-owned Iran Air Tours, left Tehran at 7:30 a.m. headed for Khorramabad, about 230 miles southwest of the capital, state radio reported.
Residents of a village near Khorramabad heard a ``big explosion'' and fire after the Tupolev went down, the radio said.
By midday, dozens of relatives of the passengers had gathered at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport, weeping as they sought information on the fate of loved ones.
``Where are you? What happened to you?'' shouted Nasrin Shafiiyan, crying and beating her face and chest, as she waited for information about the fate of her husband Houshang, who was on the plane.
She said that the crash was the fault of ``the stupid incompetent officials who go and collect second-hand ... planes from all over the former Soviet countries. What is this garbage they buy or rent?''
The television reported that President Mohammad Khatami ordered the formation of an emergency committee to investigate the cause of the crash. A team of experts from the Transportation Ministry was heading to Khorramabad, it said.
Minutes before crashing, the plane lost contact with the control tower at Khorramabad airport, the television said.
Iran Air Tours, a subsidiary of state carrier Iran Air, in recent years has leased mostly Russian-made Tupolev planes with Russian crew.
A Russian-built aircraft, a Yak-40 operated by the private Faraz Qeshm Airlines crashed in northeastern Iran in May, killing the transport minister and about 30 other passengers including seven lawmakers. They were on their way to Gorgan, near the Caspian Sea, to inaugurate that city's airport.
Iran also has an aging fleet of U.S.-made Boeings purchased before the 1979 Islamic revolution. The United States has refused to provide spare parts for Boeing planes as part of its wide-ranging economic sanctions against Iran.
Iran has said the U.S. stance on spare parts endangered the lives of innocent passengers.
In recent years, Iran has purchased a small number of Airbus passenger planes.
On July 3, a Tu-154 slammed into a Siberian meadow, killing all 145 people aboard. That crash was the 20th involving a Tu-154 since it entered service in the early 1970s. With some 1,000 planes built, it is the most widely used jetliner in Russia and is used in many other countries.
In February 1993 a Russian-made Tu-134 on lease to Iran collided with a military plane near Tehran, killing all 132 people on board
I, too, have many Iranian friends and wouldn't wish death on innocents. If it had been a military plane on a mission to hurt Americans then it'd be a bit different.
I don't remember any of us celebrating when the U.S. Vincennes accidently shot down an Iranian passenger jet during a firefight with Iranian boats in the late 80's early 90's.
I just remember the horror of it and the horror other Americans expressed when it happened.
Of course, blame the U.S. It's ALWAYS our fault when something bad happens. I'm sorry that we killed innocent passengers. May Allah be with them. I'm sorry their rocket blew up the other day and killed more innocent people. May Allah be with them. We probably didn't give them the right "spare parts" for that too. I'm sorry millions of them were protesting against the U.S. yesterday. May they be with Allah.
True words as far as I am concerned.
I won't even climb into an Airbus. The idea of actually riding in a Tupolev would scare me silly.
Leave it to the Iranian theocracy to somehow find a way to blame the great Satan...why should we let them play with our toys when they're hostile openly and behind the scenes. Regardless, it's the Iranian people who suffer, not the Meatheaded Mullah zealots who hold a population back by centuries. I feel bad for the people who died so horribly and for their families...
Reports from KRSI & KSMI indicate that hundreds of exiled Iranians are currently participating in a mass demonstration from the Los Angeles Federal building to the UCLA campus. The demonstrators are using this opportunity to denounce theocratic rule of the Islamic Republic regime in Iran, its crimes against its own citizens, and its support of international terrorism. Participants who come from various political and social backgrounds are all united by one goal: to support the democratic movements of the people of Iran for freedom, human rights, and popular sovereignty.
Many participants are carrying signs in support of freedom and human rights for Iran, while others are chanting slogans such as "down with Khatami", "down with the Islamic Republic", "no more mullahs", "no more hezbollah" and "down with terrorists." Iranian women who have been the most oppressed victims of the islamic republic are present in large numbers and are voicing their opposition to the ruling mullahs who have used their own brand of religion as a means of oppression and fear.
The demonstrators also hope to send a clear message to the world that the people of Iran are thirsty for democracy and oppose all forms of violence and terrorism. The Islamic theocracy in Iran has over the years silenced all voices of opposition by carrying out thousands of political assassinations inside the country and abroad. Since 1979 thousands of innocent men and women have been tortured and executed in the gallows of the Islamic regime. In 1999 a peaceful uprising for democracy by Iranian students was violently put down by the ruling clerics and under the direct order of Mohammad Khatami. Many students were killed, arrested and hundreds were sentenced to long prison terms. Since then, more than a hundred riots and demonstrations have taken place in Iran, most of them ending in violence by the agents of the theocratic regime.
The United States is the current home of more than 1 million exiled Iranians, most of whom have fled Iran after the 1979 revolution. Some of those present in today's rally are victims of the Islamic regime's tortures and abuses, while others carry the memory of loved ones who were brutally murdered by the Islamic regime in the past 23 years. These demonstrations are taking place on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the 1979 revolution.
Many opposition groups, including student groups, have called for similar demonstrations to be held in Iran tomorrow."
How long before they blame it on an American/ Zionist plot?
Wow, not long at all!
My condolences to the families of those unfortunate enough to lose loved ones in the Aeroflot lottery (Iranian edition.)
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