Dozens survive Iran plane crash

TEHRAN: An IranAir passenger plane crashed Sunday in the country’s northwest, and nearly half of the 105 people on board survived with light injuries, Iranian media reported.

The Boeing-727 crashed shortly before it was to land in the city of Orumiyeh, 700 km northwest of the capital, Tehran, said Abbas Mosayebi, spokesman of the Iranian civil aviation organization, state TV reported.

The semiofficial Fars news agency quoted the head of the State Emergency Center, Gholam Reza Masoumi, as saying 50 people survived with light injuries.

“The problem at the moment for rescue work is the heavy snow, which is around 70 centimeters (more than two feet) deep around the crash site,” Fars quoted Masoumi as saying.

State news agency IRNA reported that bad weather around Orumiyeh had earlier led to the cancellation of two flights from Tehran on Sunday.

Iran has suffered a string of crashes in the past few decades. US sanctions against Iran have prevented it from buying new aircraft or spare parts from the West.

The last major air crash in Iran was in July 2009 when a Caspian Airlines Tupolev aircraft bound for Armenia caught fire in midair and crashed into farmland near the city of Qazvin, killing all 168 people on board.

One of the country’s worst air accidents happened in February 2003 when an Iranian Ilyushin-76 troop carrier crashed in southeast Iran, killing all 276 Revolutionary Guard soldiers and crew aboard. – Arabnews