Missile Attack or Crash? Doomed Ukrainian Plane in Tehran Is the New Aviation Mystery

Published January 8th, 2020 - 10:27 GMT
Missile Attack or Crash? The Ukrainian Air Plane Incident Is the New Puzzling Aviation Mystery
The incident could be similar to that of the Malaysian aircraft that was shutdown in Ukraine in 2014 (AFP)

Amid a very tense week between the US and Iran following a strike that killed a top Iranian general, and a few hours after Iran launched a dozen missiles targeting an Iraqi airbase used by US troops, a Ukranian civilian Boeing 737 aircraft crashed shortly upon leaving Tehran's international airport.

The timing of the plane crash prompted speculations as to whether the accident was a result of a technical issue or a possible Iranian missile strike.

While initial reports issued by Iranian authorities cited technical issues leading to the crash, Iran's Civil Aviation Authority announced an investigation into the accident to clarify the reasons behind it.

However, a video shared online of a burning object plunging from the sky before it exploded on the ground raised suspicions that the aircraft might have been hit by a rogue Iranian missile launched during the same night.

Some commentators suggested that the airplane crew hadn't reported technical issues before the crash, and that radars witnessed a sudden halt in the plane's speed, indicating it might have been downed by a missile.

They referenced a similar accident in which a Malaysian aircraft was shutdown in Ukraine in 2014, during the conflict between anti and pro-Russian militias. 

Despite an earlier statement by the Ukranian Embassy in Iran referring to an engine failure being the reason the plane crashed, ruling out a terror or rocket attack, the embassy later replaced its statement and announced an investigation into the accident. 

Head of Tehran’s civil aviation organization announced that they have found the black box but stated that Iran will not give it to Boeing, and is still making a decision regarding where they will send it for its data to be analyzed.

Iranian media reported that none of the 176 passengers aboard flight PS752 bound for Kiev survived the accident. According to a tweet by the Ukranian foreign minister, 82 of the victims were Iranians, 63 were Canadians, 11 were Ukranian, 10 Swedes, 4 Afghans, 3 Germans, and 3 Britons.

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