A Ukrainian airline, a carrier of Boeing 737-800NG, crashed on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, in Iran and killed all passengers aboard the plane. The incident was happened in Iran several hours after Iran’s missile attack at the US military bases in Iraq as retaliation for killing the Iranian military general by the US airstrike last week. Following the crash, several international flights scheduled for Iran were canceled due to security issues.
Killing 176 People on Board
The airliner crashed and burst into flames shortly after taking off from Tehran. All 176 passengers aboard the plane including several nationalities died in the incident. According to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko shared, “Among the victims were 82 from Iran, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, three Germans, and three Britons.” As the airline officials said, most of the passengers were in transit. The officials stated that the Ukraine International Airlines was a Boeing 737-800 carrier which was done maintenance service two days ago.
As reported by Reuters, “An Iranian TV said the crash was due to unspecified technical problems. The Iranian media quoted a local aviation official as saying the pilot did not declare an emergency.” Iranian state broadcaster IRIB released the news that the Iranian rescue team has found one of the plane’s two black boxes.
As Mehr quoted, an unofficial report of news agency said that Iran’s civil aviation authority would not share the rescue team’s recording to Boeing. However, Ukraine’s embassy in Iran told that the reason for the crash has not yet ascertained and any comments on the incident would remain unofficial. An embassy official said urging Iranian authorities to cancel its earlier statement which had indicated the accident was caused by ‘engine failure’.
Ukraine’s President’s Message of ‘Sincere Condolences’
Following the incident, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy offered his “sincere condolences” to victims’ relatives saying that he had instructed his prosecutor-general to investigate the incident and open criminal proceedings without specifying who they would involve. The president further added that the country’s authorities would conduct test of the entire civilian carrier planes. However, many safety experts explained, “airliner accidents are rarely triggered by a single cause and that it typically takes months of investigation to understand all the factors behind them.”
Wednesday’s incident was the first fatal accident of the Kyiv-based Ukraine International Airlines. The airline officials assured that it would take every possible step to confirm the cause and Boeing and national authorities would join in the investigation. Responding to a question, the airline officials explained, “The plane that crashed was a three-year-old Boeing 737-800NG en route to Kyiv. Its last scheduled maintenance was on Jan. 6 and there was no sign that anything was wrong before it took off from Tehran.”
Boeing’s Another Tragedy
Boeing, the US airplane carrier manufacturer, has been in trouble since March 2019 after its popular carrier model, 737 Max was grounded because of the two incidents which killed 346 people in the crash. According to airline officials, the 737-800 model was one of the world’s most-popularly used models with a good safety record that had better software and accessories than the 737 MAX.
The 737-800 has twin engines which are made by CFM International, co-owned by a US’ General Electric and France’s Safran. There was no confirmation on whether the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) would be part of the investigation. The NTSB usually invites Boeing for seeking technical advice in such investigations.
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