Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 crashed less than three minutes after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board.
Investigators were scrambling Wednesday to determine the cause of a crash that killed all 176 people on a Ukrainian plane, shortly after it took off from Tehran’s international airport.
Iran refuse to release black box
The rules on probes into air crashes are set down in the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, and the responsibility for the investigations is assigned to the countries where they occur.
This puts Iran in charge of the investigation, but the country that manufactures the aircraft and the one that operates the airline are also supposed to have representatives involved in such a probe.
Iranian state media earlier blamed technical issues on the crash and Ukraine ruled out rocket attacks, but officials in both countries have since walked back their statements and are now refusing to speculate on the cause. Questions are swirling over the timing of the incident, which came just hours after Iran fired a number of missiles at two Iraqi bases housing US troops.
Details of Passengers on Ukranian Plane
Eighty-two Iranians, 63 Canadians, and 11 Ukrainians died onboard flight PS752, according to a tweet from Ukrainian foreign minister Vadym Prystaiko. There were also 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three British nationals among the victims, he said.
The Boeing 737 jet operated by Ukraine International Airlines took off early Wednesday en route to the Ukrainian capital Kiev, carrying 167 passengers and nine crew before crashing between the cities of Parand and Shahriar. Witnesses described seeing a fireball in the sky and images of the wreckage show charred parts of the plane strewn over a field.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said 138 of the passengers were supposed to catch a connecting flight to Canada. That flight landed in Toronto Wednesday afternoon with many seats empty.
Iran refuses to work with US
The fatal crash comes as hostilities between Tehran and Washington soar. Iran fired rockets at the Iraqi bases in retaliation for a US drone strike that killed Iran’s top commander, Qasem Soleimani, on Iraqi soil last week.
It is not known if these events have any link at all to the plane crash but political tensions appear to be surfacing in the investigation.
Searchers have found the plane’s black boxes — a cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, which could offer crucial evidence about what happened to the plane leading up to the crash, the Tehran prosecutor told Iranian state media. But Iranian officials do not plan to share information garnered from them with the plane’s manufacturer, US company Boeing, as is usual in crash investigations.