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Iran claims Boeing crash that claimed 177 lives hours after missile attack on US base was caused by engine fire but REFUSES to hand over jet’s black box

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82 Iranians, 63 Canadians and three Britons died on flight PS752.

Iran claims Boeing crash that claimed 177 lives hours after missile attack on US base was caused by engine fire but REFUSES to hand over jet’s black box

  • The Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737 jet came down three minutes after take-off from Tehran today
  • President Volodymyr Zelensky said there were no survivors among the 168 passengers and nine crew
  • Ukraine’s foreign ministry revealed there were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians and three Britons on flight PS752
  • Iran said the engine had caught fire and video appeared to show the plane already on fire as it fell from the sky
  • Ukrainian embassy in Iran initially said the crash had been caused by an engine failure but retracted the claim
  • The plane was less than four years old and had been checked just two days earlier, the Ukrainian airline said

It crashed hours after Iran attacked US bases in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Qassem Soleimani

By Rod Ardehali and Tim Stickings and Martin Robinson, Chief Reporter and Will Stewart for MailOnline and Leah Simpson For Dailymail.com, 8 January 2020

Iran has blamed technical failure and an engine fire for a plane crash which killed 177 people near Tehran today, but is refusing to hand over the recovered black boxes to Boeing or the US.

The Boeing 737 jet came down just minutes after take-off from Imam Khomeini International Airport early this morning, hours after Iran launched missile strikes on US bases in Iraq in revenge for Qassem Solemani’s death.

Three Britons and 63 Canadians were among the 168 passengers and nine crew on board the Ukrainian International Airlines flight to Kyiv. There were no survivors.

Iran is blaming ‘technical difficulties’ and says the pilot lost control after a fire struck one of the plane’s engines, but said the crew had not reported an emergency and is refusing to say what will happen to the black boxes.

Video footage appeared to show the plane already burning in the night sky before it crashed, while pictures at the crash site showed the fuselage peppered with holes.

The Ukrainian embassy in Tehran initially stated that the crash had been caused by an engine failure rather than terrorism or a missile attack, but later rescinded that claim.

The Boeing plane was less than four years old and had been checked just two days earlier, with ‘one of our best crews’ manning the aircraft, a Ukrainian airline official said.

The disaster deals a further blow to Boeing which was thrown into crisis by two plane crashes in October 2018 and March 2019 which killed a combined 346 people.

French jet engine manufacturer CFM said any speculation about a technical failure was ‘premature’.

The crash sparked fresh alarm in the already tense Middle East and a series of airlines have announced they will stop flying over Iranian airspace.

The Ukrainian foreign ministry revealed there were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians and three Britons on flight PS752, along with 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans and four Germans.

The three British victims were later named as businessman Mohammad Reza Kadkhoda-Zadeh, 40, and engineers Saeed Tahmasebi Khademsadi, 35, and Sam Zokaei, 42.

Canada is home to a large Iranian diaspora community and UIA offers discount flights between Tehran and Toronto, with a transit in Kiev.

People stand near the wreckage after a Ukrainian plane carrying 177 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport

Pieces of debris are seen lying at the crash site in a picture released by an Iranian news agency today, showing what appeared to be holes in the fuselage of the Boeing aircraft

Rescue workers in protective suits gather up the bodies of passengers who were killed in the Boeing 737 crash in Iran today

The black boxes (pictured) from the Ukrainian airliner were found today but Iran says it will not hand them over to Boeing

 

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