CRASH UPDATE: 63 Canadians Die As Ukrainian Boeing-737 Crashes In Iran
Canadians Among the 176 Passengers Killed In Airliner Crash
US Media are reporting that Iran mistakenly shot down the Ukrainian jetliner with a missile attack. The crash came hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing US forces in Iraq. CBS News quoted US intellegence saying that a satellite detected infrared 'blips" of two missiles being launched followed by another blip of an explosion.
The Pentagon and Iraqi intellegence have reported that the Ukrainian plane is believed to have been hit by a Russian-made Tor missle.
A Ukrainian Boeing-737 carrying 176 people has crashed in Iran and officials say there is no chance of finding survivors.
Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 to Kyiv went down after taking off from Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran at 06:12 local time (02:42 GMT).
The majority of passengers were from Iran and Canada.
Ukraine's Tehran embassy initially blamed engine failure but later removed the statement.
Debris and engine parts from the Boeing 737-800 NG plane were found some 10km (6 miles) from the airport and rescue workers with face masks searched the wreckage for victims.
Iranian media blamed technical problems and quoted an aviation official who said no emergency had been declared.
In a sign of the potential difficulties facing crash investigators, the head of Iran's civil aviation organisation was quoted as saying the Ukrainian plane's black box would not be handed over, either to Boeing or the Americans.
Jet engine debris found 10km from takeoff location
Who was on board?
Among the victims were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians including all nine crew, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Britons and three Germans, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said.
It was unclear why such a large number of Canadians were on board, however the airline provides relatively inexpensive flights via Kyiv to Toronto.
A series of airlines announced on Wednesday that they were avoiding both Iranian and Iraqi airspace.
Air France and KLM said they would use alternative routes while Lufthansa said it was also cancelling its daily flight to Tehran. Qantas, Air India, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines were among other airlines taking action.