A Ukrainian airliner that crashed outside of Tehran was on fire and trying to turn back but its crew never made a radio call for help, Iranian investigators have said.
The Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737-800, flying to Kyiv and carrying mostly Iranians and Iranian-Canadians, crashed shortly after taking off on Wednesday from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport, killing all 176 on board.
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Witnesses, including the crew of another passing flight, described seeing the plane engulfed in flames before crashing, the investigators’ report said. The crash caused an enormous explosion when the plane hit the ground, likely because the aircraft had been fully loaded with fuel for the four-hour flight.
“The plane, which was initially headed west to leave the airport zone, turned right following a problem and was headed back to the airport at the moment of the crash,” the Iranian Civil Aviation Organisation said on its website.