State Media: Iranian Rescue Teams Locate Wreckage of Plane Crash

A rescue helicopter searches for the wreckage of Aseman Airlines flight EP3704 in Iran's Zagros mountains

Iranian search and rescue teams yesterday reached the site of a plane crash the previous day that authorities said killed all 65 people on board, Iran's Press TV reported. Several helicopters that had deployed at dawn to hunt for Aseman Airlines flight EP3704 were forced to return to base, officials said.

"Helicopters are dropping off the rescue and relief teams in the nearest spot possible, as accessing the site of the crash is very hard", Ali Abedzadeh, head of the Civil Aviation Organisation, told state TV.

Tabatabai said the plane crashed into Mount Dena, which is about 440-meters (1,440-feet) tall.

The aircraft took off from Tehran - the Iranian capital city - before 8 a.m. local time earlier this Sunday, headed towards the town of Yasuj about 450 miles south of Tehran.

The country has struggled to obtain spare parts to maintain its planes in the face of worldwide sanctions imposed to curb its nuclear programme.

Aseman Airlines is a large company with a fleet of 26 planes.

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The ATR aircraft with 66 passengers and crew on board went missing and due to bad weather conditions search for finding the wreckage of the plane continued for three days.

In April 2017, ATR sealed a $536-million sale with Iran Air for at least 20 aircraft.

Following the crash, the airline initially said that all on board had died, but later on Sunday said that it could not confirm this as no-one had reached the site. Footage posted on independent news websites showed him in the cockpit of a plane taking part in the search. The debris of the plane has not been found yet, but all 66 people onboard are reportedly dead in the tragic incident.

But Tuesday's weather was better, allowing helicopter pilots to see more. Anxious relatives of passengers had gathered at Yasuj airport.

Following the crash of the Russian aircraft last week, a spotlight was shone on an aviation culture that used to survive on "aviacannibalism", when old planes were broken down to provide parts for other aircraft. However, the breakthrough Nuclear Deal with the United States in 2015 has paved way for modernization of the Iran Aircrafts. However, it doesn't fly to Europe, as it was banned for safety concerns. National carrier IranAir has ordered 80 planes from Boeing and 100 from Airbus.

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