January 10, 2011 in Nation/World

Iranian airliner crashes; 71 killed

Associated Press
 

TEHRAN, Iran – An IranAir passenger jet carrying 106 people crashed as it was making an emergency landing Sunday in a snowstorm in the country’s northwest and broke into several pieces, killing 71 of those on board, Iranian media reported. The others survived with light injuries.

The pilots of the Boeing-727, operated by Iran’s national airline, attempted the emergency landing in the city of Orumiyeh after reporting a technical failure to the control tower, the semiofficial Mehr news agency reported.

The nature of the technical failure was unclear. A spokesman for the Iranian civil aviation organization, Abbas Mosayebi, said only that the plane “faced an incident,” state TV reported.

The aircraft was headed from Tehran to Orumiyeh, capital of West Azerbaijan province, a distance of about 460 miles.

Thirty-five people survived, including two crew members, said Javad Mahmoudi, another deputy governor for West Azerbaijan, speaking to state TV.

Some of the passengers were only lightly wounded and able to walk off the plane and some had to be hospitalized, Mosayebi said.

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