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737 crashes near Tehran, killing 176, Iran State TV reports

WASHINGTON — State media outlet IRIB in Iran is reporting that a Boeing 737 belonging to Ukranian Airlines has crashed after take off from Imam Khomeini Airport...
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WASHINGTON — State media outlet IRIB in Iran is reporting that a Boeing 737 belonging to Ukranian Airlines has crashed after take off from Imam Khomeini Airport outside of Tehran, killing all 176 people on board.

A spokesman for Iran’s Road and Transportation Ministry said one of the engines caught fire. The pilot lost control, sending it into the ground.

The crash happened several hours after Iran fired missiles into Iraq targeting airbases where the U.S. houses troops, and the two incidents are not believed to be related.

As the Associated Press reports, Iranian state media said the airplane was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members when it crashed near an airport outside of the Iranian capital of Tehran. State TV had earlier reported 180 people on board.

The majority of the passengers were Iranian nationals, Russia’s RIA Novosti agency reported, citing Iranian authorities.

The flight tracking website FlightRadar 24 identifies it as Ukraine International Airlines flight PS 752. It originated in Tehran and was headed to Kyiv. Flight data from the airport showed a Ukrainian 737-800 stopped sending data almost immediately afterward.

“After taking off from Imam Khomeini international airport it crashed between Parand and Shahriar,” civil aviation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh reportedly said. “An investigation team from the national aviation department was dispatched to the location after the news was announced.”

Video shown on Iran’s state media outlet IRIB apparently filmed by a witness purportedly shows a plane as it crashed.

Images from the crash scene showed a field of bodies and debris stretched out across farmland.

Boeing tweeted it was aware of the reports and was gathering more information.