Search Teams Look For 'Possible Survivors' of Plane Crash Near Yasuj

21 February, 2018, 04:46 | Author: Jeannette Greene
  • A rescue helicopter searches for the wreckage of Aseman Airlines flight EP3704 in Iran's Zagros mountains

Other Iranian news outlets and officials did not confirm that the crash site had been reached.

The head of the Iran Red Crescent Society (IRCS) said on February 20 that rescue operations continued on Mount Dena after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said the wreckage of a plane that crashed on February 18 had been found.

Aseman Airlines flight EP3704 disappeared in the Zagros range on Sunday morning, around 45 minutes after taking off from Tehran.

The hunt for the downed aircraft using helicopters, drones and mountaineering teams were hampered by bad weather.

Two helicopters sent by the military finally helped spot the wreckage on Tuesday morning, Revolutionary Guards spokesman Ramezan Sharif told state TV.

Heavy snow and rain since Sunday have hindered the search around the 14,465-foot (4,409-metre) peak, which is popular with Iranians training for climbs in the Himalayas.

Some 500 images taken by drones were being analysed overnight, he added.

On Sunday, an Iran Aseman Airlines passenger plane flying from Tehran to the southwestern city of Yasuj went down in the Mount Dena region of Isfahan's Semirom district.

Details on flight EP3704 from Tehran to Yasuj with location of the wreckage
Details on flight EP3704 from Tehran to Yasuj with location of the wreckage

Poor visibility meant some 60 helicopter sorties yesterday could find no trace of the plane.

The head of the Red Crescent team, Mohammad Hossein Kobadi, told IRIB that helicopters were able to drop off equipment at the site of the crash but high winds were making the work "very risky and difficult" and there was an avalanche risk.

Iran has suffered several aviation accidents in recent years and has an ageing aircraft fleet. It specializes in flights to remote airfields across the country but also flies internationally, although it is banned in the European Union over safety concerns.

Aseman Airlines spokesman Mohammad Taghi Tabatabai told state TV that all on board Flight EP3704 were killed.

According to NAN, Iran has complained that sanctions, imposed by the United States, have jeopardized the safety of its airlines and made it hard to maintain and modernize the fleets.

Aseman was forced to ground many of its planes at the height of the sanctions due to difficulties in obtaining spares.

The crashed plane was 25 years old, Iran's civil aviation organisation said.

Lifting sanctions on aviation purchases was a key clause in the nuclear deal that Iran signed with world powers in 2015. The production of Boeing 727, the three-engine jet ended in 1984.


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