176 people were killed on Wednesday morning after a Ukraine International Airlines 737 crashed shortly after leaving Tehran. There were no survivors in the horrific tragedy.
The NYT reports: “The circumstances of the crash were unclear. The Iranian outlets cited technical problems with the plane, which was bound for Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. The crash came at a tense time in Iran, as conflict with the United States had the country on edge. Photographs posted by Iranian news organizations showed rescuers examining smoking rubble in a field. The state-run Iranian Students’ News Agency shared a video it said showed the predawn crash, with a distant light descending in the distance before a bright burst filled the sky upon impact.”
The Telegraph reports: “Ukraine has refused to rule out that the plane that crashed in Iran and killed all 176 on board was struck by a missile. … Asked at a briefing in Kyiv if the plane could have been downed by a missile, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk refused to rule it out, but cautioned against speculation until the investigation concluded. Initially, Ukraine’s embassy in Iran said on Wednesday morning that engine failure caused the plane to crash and denied that it was terror-related or that a rocket had hit the aircraft. But it later withdrew this statement, saying that anything was possible, and Mr Zelensky instructed Ukraine’s prosecutors to open criminal proceedings over the crash.”
The NYT adds: “At a news conference at Boryspil International Airport in Kyiv several hours after the crash, Ukraine International Airlines executives said the plane had been in good working order and operated by a highly trained crew. They offered no theories as to what might have happened and declined to comment on whether or not it might have been shot down.”
Hours after the crash, Twitter was filled with chatter that the plane may have been shot down.