Search continues for crashed Iranian plane

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The search is continuing for a plane which crashed in Iran’s Zagros mountains with 65 people on board.

Aseman Airlines Flight 3704 crashed about an hour into a flight between Tehran and the southern city of Yasuj on Sunday morning.

Iran’s official news agency IRNA has quoted deputy governor of the southwestern Iranian province of Kohkilouye, Boyer Ahmad Jafar Gohargani, as saying that wreckage has been found in a region around Padena in the province of Isfahan.

But a spokesman for Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation said he “cannot confirm that wreckage of (the plane) was found”.

Emergency and rescue helicopter searches for the plane that crashed in a mountainous area of central Iran, February 19, 2018 search continues for crashed iranian plane Search continues for crashed Iranian plane skynews helicopter zagros iran 4235208
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Snow, wind and fog has hampered the search

Due to the difficult terrain, dense fog, heavy snow and high winds, search helicopters were unable to reach the crash site on Sunday.

Rescue workers, including those from the Iranian Red Crescent, were sent in on foot.

By Monday afternoon, more than 100 people were scouring the mountainside for any sign of the plane, with the help of drones and helicopters.

The Iranian Red Crescent said on their Twitter page that weather conditions had “improved”, adding that they also “could not confirm” that any wreckage had been found.

Relatives of passengers who were believed to have been killed in a plane crash react near the town of Semirom, Iran, February 18, 2018 search continues for crashed iranian plane Search continues for crashed Iranian plane skynews semirom iran plane 4235259
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It is believed the 65 people on the plane were all killed in the crash

The search has now been called off for the night, with officials saying that 60 helicopter sorties had been flown to no avail.

Esmaeil Najjar, head of Iran’s Crisis Management Organisation, told the ISNA news agency: “The exact spot of the plane crash was not found, and given the darkness, heavy snowfall and fog in some regions, the aerial search operation was stopped and will be resumed tomorrow.”

The searchers will stay in “safe places in the mountainous area” before resuming the search on Tuesday morning, he added.

It is thought the 24-year-old ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop, crashed into the 4,400m-high Mount Dena, some 390 miles south of the Iranian capital, near the remote town of Semirom.

A twin-engined turboprop ATR-72 Aseman Airlines plane, that crashed in central Iran is seen in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in this undated picture obtained from social media and released February 19, 2018. Pic: David Osborn/Aeroprints search continues for crashed iranian plane Search continues for crashed Iranian plane skynews aseman iran plane crash 4235333
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The plane that crashed, pictured in Dubai on an unknown date. Pic: David Osborn/Aeroprints

According to reports, the height of the site is around 3,500m but the plane’s emergency locator transmitter was reportedly not functioning, meaning finding the wreckage could be especially hard.

Decades of international sanctions have made it difficult for Iran to buy newer aircraft and spare parts for older ones, with planes being involved in a number of accidents in recent years.



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