More than 60 feared dead in Iran plane crash

More than 60 feared dead in Iran plane crash

Aseman Airlines flight 3705, en route from Tehran to the southern city of Yasuj, the capital of the impoverished province of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, went off radar 50 minutes into its journey, not far from its destination.

The Aseman Airlines ATR-72, is a twin-engine turboprop used for short-distance regional flying, but operates also in global routes.

Aseman Airlines spokesman Mohammad Taghi Tabatabai told state TV that all on board Flight No. EP3704 were killed.

Mojtaba Khaledi, a spokesman for the national emergency services, told reporters: "Given the fact that the area is mountainous, it is not possible to send ambulances".

Iranian officials said rescue teams would work through the night, battling blizzard conditions to find a passenger plane that disappeared in the Zagros mountains on Sunday with 65 people aboard.

The Iranian Red Crescent also said it had sent emergency teams to the area.

Bad weather forced an emergency helicopter investigating the crash to turn back.

Iranian airlines have an aging fleet due to ongoing sanctions on the country, struggling to obtain spare and replacement parts.

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On November 26, an Iranian military plane crashed in Tehran, killing 39 people of which 30 were members of the Revolutionary Guard - the Islamic regime's ideological army.

Aseman Airlines, based in Tehran is the third largest air carrier of Iran and the plane involved in the crash was around 20 years old but was being flown by an experienced pilot.

The country has experienced several air crashes over the years due to ageing fleets of the major airlines thanks to years of worldwide sanctions. The sanctions were mostly lifted under a 2015 deal between Iran and the U.S. alongside several other powers.

Aseman signed a deal previous year to buy at least 30 Boeing 737 MAX jets.

After the 2015 deal nuclear deal with the world powers, Iran signed contracts with aviation companies like Boeing and Airbus in order to purchase numerous aircrafts amounting to billions of dollars.

A week ago, 71 people died in a plane crash in Russian Federation.

Aseman Airlines (EP) flight 3704, departed at 08:00 local time on 18 February from Mehrabad International airport in Iran's capital city of Tehran.

Sixty-six people aboard a commercial airplane were killed after it has crashed in southern Iran.

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