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Dublin: 9 °C Saturday 24 March, 2018

Plane crashes in Iran, with all 66 people on board feared dead

The plane was flying from Tehran to the southern city of Yasuj.

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Updated 11.30am 

A PASSENGER PLANE has crashed in the Iranian mountains, with all 66 people on board feared dead.

An airline spokesman initially told state television that all passengers had been killed but this statement was later retracted.

The ATR-72, used for short-distance regional flying, went down near the remote mountain town of Semirom, some 620km south of the capital, Tehran, the semi-official Fars news agency said.

Fars said the plane was flying from Tehran to the southern Iranian city of Yasuj, about 780km south of Tehran.

Authorities said the plane was flown by Aseman Airlines, a semi-private air carrier headquartered in Tehran that specialises in flights to remote airfields across the country. It also flies internationally.

The Iranian Red Crescent said it has deployed to the area, which was quite foggy at the time of the crash. Authorities said they would be investigating.

Under decades of international sanctions, Iran’s commercial passenger aircraft fleet has aged, with air accidents occurring regularly in recent years.

Following the 2015 landmark nuclear deal with world powers, Iran signed deals with both Airbus and Boeing to buy scores of passenger planes.

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Associated Press

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