Three Britons among victims of Tehran Boeing 737 crash
Published on Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Three Britons are understood to be among the 177 people to have died when a Ukranian Boeing 737-800 crashed in Iran early this morning.
There were 168 passengers from seven countries and nine crew registered to travel on Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 from Tehran to Kiev, which crashed shortly after take off. Iran’s Red Crescent said there was no chance of finding survivors.
Ukraine’s embassy in Tehran initially said engine failure caused the crash and there was no link to terrorism, but a statement posted on the Foreign Ministry website claiming that a terrorist attack had been ruled out has since been removed.
The airline said that the aircraft, which was around three years old, had had its last scheduled maintenance on Monday.
Boeing tweeted shortly after the crash to say that it was aware ‘of media reports out of Iran’ and that it was gathering information.
In addition to the three Britons, the victims include 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians including all the crew, 10 Swedes, four Afghans and three Germans.
Ukraine International Airlines has suspended flights to Tehran indefinitely.
Rescue workers have found one of the airliner’s black boxes, according to Iranian media.
It is understood that Iranian, Ukrainian, US and French authorities will investigate the crash, but it was unclear how they will work together as Iran is currently under US sanctions and there are severe tensions between the two countries following a US air strike in Iraq, which killed one of Iran’s major generals, Qasem Soleimani, last week, leading to the UK Foreign Office to warn Britons against all non-essential travel to Iran.
Prior to the crash, the US air safety body, the FAA, had banned US airlines from flying over parts of Iran and Iraq, according to aviation website FlightRadar24. However, aircraft from non-US airlines are believed to have been flying over Iran and Iraq at the time of the crash.
UK tour companies including Cox & Kings and Wild Frontiers had previously suspended tours to Iran for the first half of this year following the Foreign Office advice.
The Foreign Office said today that the crash was ‘reportedly due to technical problems’.