An Iranian passenger plane carrying 117 people has crashed near the western city of Khorramabad.
A senior official at the state carrier, Iran Air, said the plane, a Russian-built Tupelov-154 with a capacity of 148 passengers, belonged to its affiliated company Iran Air Tours. According to sources, there were no survivors among the passengers and crew on board.
He said the plane, flying from Tehran to Khorramabad early on Tuesday, was full when it disappeared off radar screens southwest of the city. Khorramabad lies to the east of the Zagros mountain range, which runs along the border with Iraq.
"There was a violent explosion" when the plane crashed, an Iranian official told AFP, adding that rescue services had been dispatched to the scene by helicopter and other means.
Iran Air Tours mainly leases aircraft from former Soviet countries. It is a subsidiary of state airline Iran Air. The runway at Khorramabad airport is too small to accommodate wide-bodied aircraft, one official told Reuters.
On February 8, 1993 a Tupolev 154 of Iran Air collided with an Iranian air force fighter on taking off from Tehran airport, killing all 131 aboard.
During May 2001, an Iranian plane carrying transport minister crashed in the northern province of Mazandaran. The plane crashed on the road linking Sari and Kiasar in Pol-e Sefid region in Mazandaran. (Albawaba.com)