BREAKING| Aseman Airlines ATR72 crashes in Iran, 66 presumed dead
Aseman Airlines ATR72 passenger plane crashed in Zagros Mountains in Iran on February 18, 2018. All 66 people onboard the flight EP3704 are presumed to be dead.
The plane departed Tehran Mehrabad International Airports at 8:00 AM en route to Yasuj, southwest of Iran. Approximately 50 minutes into the flight, the plane disappeared from radars as it hit Dena Mountain (part of Zagros Mountains), the airline noted in a statement on social media.
There were 66 people onboard. 60 passengers, four crew members (two pilots and two flight attendants) and two members of security forces are presumably dead, but the casualties cannot be confirmed until the wreckage is recovered.
“Eventually, after a few hours of concern and hope for the lives of the passengers and staff of the flight EP3704, unfortunately, the news of the loss of all these loved ones fell like a heavy crash,” the airline wrote in a statement on social media, adding that “everyone is in grief for the lost”.
However, later Mohammad Tabatabaie, Aseman Airlines spokesperson, told ISNA news agency: “Given the special circumstances of the region, we still have no access to the spot of the crash and therefore we cannot accurately and definitely confirm the death of all passengers of this plane".
Rescue teams are dispatched to the crash site, but efforts are constrained due bad weather conditions. Fog and heavy snow prevented emergency teams from using helicopter in order to reach the crash site, BBC clarifies.
In a statement on social media, Aseman Airlines revealed that one of the pilots of the crashed plane was captain Hojjatallah, describing him as a very experienced pilot who had previously successfully avoided a similar accident. According to the airline, back in 2013 Hojjatallah safely landed in Yasuj airport following an emergency situation when the second engine of ATR72 went out during a flight from Tehran to Yasul.
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