Iranian Plane Catches Fire; Passengers Survive
Six passengers of a Russian-Made Ilyushin-76 that caught fire in mid-air on Sunday, shortly after taking off from Mashhad in the north-eastern part of Iran on a domestic flight, were taken to a hospital for treatment, IRNA reported on Sunday. The airliner belonged to Iran's Revolutionary Guards and was carrying 230 people on board, but managed to land safely without causing any injuries, the elite military force said.
Earlier, an official at the Mashhad airport said the plane was an Iranian Tupolev 154 on an internal flight. Nobody was injured, however the six passengers "overwhelmed by extreme panic" were taken to the hospital.
The incident, the second in less than two weeks, occurred half an hour following the plane's take-off from Mashhad on its way to Isfahan.
"Just after its take-off, the wing of the plane caught fire but the pilot succeeded in immediately touching back down at Mashhad airport", state television reported.
Earlier this month, 119 passengers and crewmembers were killed when an Iranian Tupolev 154 of Iran Air Tours crashed in mountains as it was preparing to land at Khorramabad in south-western Iran on an internal flight from Tehran.
The recent plane crash has re-sparked the debate over growing air safety concerns in the Islamic Republic, which has been hit by a US embargo on high-tech transfers and sales of planes, and prompted the resignation of the head of Iran's civil aviation, Behzad Mazaheri. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)