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Ukraine International Airlines crashes in Tehran, by Travel Radar Correspondent Ankur Deo

And just as we were hoping 2020 to be a safe and sound year for aviation, a Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800, coded flight PS752, has crashed in Tehran, soon after taking off from the capital’s Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA), killing all 176 people aboard.

Image Credits: gulfnews

Early reports suggest that the crash was due to technical problems, however, we will have to wait for any details. One of the plane’s two black boxes – the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder – has been found, however, exactly which one among the two is recovered and its state is not yet known. The aircraft involved in the crash was three years old and purchased from Boeing as new. It had its last routine technical maintenance on quite recently (On Monday, January 6, 2020).

“My sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of all passengers and crew,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said in a statement, adding that Ukraine was seeking to establish the circumstances of the crash.

Image Credits: Mohammad Nasiri/AP

This crash coincides with Iranian forces launching more than a dozen ballistic missiles against two military bases in Iraq where U.S. troops are stationed, in response to an American airstrike that killed the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force. American passenger airliners have been banned from flying over Iran because of the risk that they could be mistaken as military aircraft, and Ukraine International Airlines, after this fatal crash, has indefinitely suspended flights to Tehran. However, any connections between these two incidences cannot be proven currently.

“I implore you all to refrain from speculating and making uncorroborated theories in relation to the plane crash before any official statements are made,” Zelensky said, adding that planes would be dispatched to Tehran to collect the victims’ bodies. 

A video that purported to be of the crash, showed a distant light against a dark sky descending to the ground, followed by a burst of flames. Immediately after the crash, numerous ambulances and rescue vehicles reached the site, however, immense fire made the rescue operations impossible.

Image Credits: Hindustan Times

As per reports, engine failure is suspected to be reason for the crash. However, modern aircraft are designed and certified to cope with an engine failure shortly after take-off and to fly for extended periods on one engine. An uncontained engine failure releasing shrapnel, on the other hand, can cause damage to other aircraft systems, and thus prove catastrophic.

We are following this crash closely as we wait for further updates and details.d

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