Wed, Jul 15, 2009
168 Passengers And Crew Reported Lost
ANN Realtime Update 7.15.09, 1922 EDT: The Los
Angeles Times is reporting that the deputy head of the Armenian
civil aviation organization told reporters that the pilot had
attempted an emergency landing after an engine caught fire.
Witnesses said the plane appeared to be on fire before impacting
the ground. Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan cut short a visit to
the provinces after the accident was announced on television.
Original Story: An Iranian airliner went down
in a field near Tehran about 16 minutes after takeoff Wednesday,
killing all on board, according to Iranian state television. The
Russian-made Tu-154 was completely destroyed, gouging what was
described as a deep trench in the ground.
According the The Associated Press, the Caspian Airlines Jet
departed from Tehran for the Armenian capital of Yerevan, about 75
Iran and Russia formed Caspian Airlines 1993. AP reports
the airline experiences frequent crashes, which the Iranian
government blames on the U.S. sanctions it says prevents the
country from getting spare parts for maintenance. The airline,
however, flies primarily Russian Tupolev aircraft, which would be
less effected by any U.S. Embargo.
AP says a Caspian Airlines employee reported that most if the
passengers were Armenians and Georgians. 8 members of the Iranian
national youth Judo team and two trainers were also on board. The
employee asked to remain anonymous because she was not authorized
to speak to the media.
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