TEHRAN, Iran – A locally built Iranian passenger plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Tehran on Sunday, killing 39 people.
President Hassan Rouhani offered his condolences to victims’ families and quickly ordered an investigation into the crash. Similar planes operated by Iranian carriers will be grounded until the probe is complete, he directed.
The Sepahan Air regional airliner, bound for the town of Tabas, went down in a residential area shortly after takeoff at 9:20 a.m. from Tehran’s Mehrabad airport.
State TV said the plane’s tail struck the cables of an electricity tower before it hit the ground and burst into flames. The official IRNA news agency said the plane suffered an engine failure.
Four civilians killed in suicide bombing
KABUL, Afghanistan – A suicide car bomber attacked a NATO convoy moving through Afghanistan’s capital Sunday, killing at least four civilians and wounding more than 35 in an assault claimed by the Taliban, authorities said.
The blast struck two MRAPs, or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicles, in western Kabul, damaging a civilian car and leaving debris scattered across a highway lined by shops. NATO troops and Afghan soldiers cordoned off the scene after the blast.
Hashmat Stanikzai, a spokesman for Kabul’s police chief, said the blast killed four civilians and wounded more than 35 people. NATO later said the blast wounded none of its troops, though it was investigating the attack.
Storm drenches Japan; 1 dead, dozens hurt
TOKYO – A tropical storm moved out of Japan on Sunday after lashing the country with rain and wind, leaving one person dead and prompting evacuation orders for more than 1 million residents near swollen rivers.
Tropical Storm Halong also disrupted land and air traffic and injured dozens of people as Japan began its annual “Obon” Buddhist holiday week.
Originally a typhoon, Halong was downgraded to a tropical storm as it approached the southwest coast and made two landfalls – over Shikoku Island and Hyogo prefecture in western Japan. It exited over the Sea of Japan from the northern coast near Kyoto on Sunday evening, and was expected to lose further strength over the next 12 hours.