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Ukrainian airliner crashes in Iran killing 176

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 8, 2020 - Duration: 02:15s

Ukrainian airliner crashes in Iran killing 176

A Ukrainian airliner crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran early on Wednesday, bursting into flames and killing all 176 people on board.

Joe Davies reports.

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Ukrainian airliner crashes in Iran killing 176

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS VIDEO HAS BEEN UPDATED TO REFLECT THAT BOTH BLACK BOXES HAVE NOW BEEN FOUND BY IRANIAN AUTHORITIES.

THERE ARE NO FURTHER EDITORIAL CHANGES.

The grim task of retrieving and identifying dozens of bodies scattered across an Iranian field after a plane crashed killing all 176 people on board.

The Boeing 737 came down early on Wednesday (January 8), shortly after take-off from Tehran en route to the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

Its carrier, Ukraine International Airlines, said the plane was only three years old and was last serviced just two days ago.

This aviation disaster came on the same night Iran launched missiles at bases housing U.S. forces in Iraq, in retaliation for a U.S. drone strike last week that killed an Iranian military commander.

Iranian media quoted a local aviation official as saying the pilot did not declare an emergency.

Among the dead are 82 people from Iran, 63 Canadians, 11 from Ukraine, 10 Swedes, three Germans and three Britons.

The airline's president offered his condolences to the victims' families.

(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) UIA PRESIDENT, EVGENY DYKHNE, SAYING: "On behalf of our company, I offer deep condolences to the families of the people who were on board, to everyone close to them.

It was one of our best planes, with an excellent, trustworthy crew." It begs the question - what caused one of Ukraine's 'best planes' to crash?

The Ukrainian embassy to Iran initially said engine failure was to blame, rather than a missile attack or terrorism.

But that statement was later withdrawn - on the orders of the Iranian authorities, according to an embassy official.

The airline, which until now had an unblemished safety record, said it's doing everything possible to determine the cause.

The investigation will involve U.S. manufacturer Boeing and national authorities.

Iranian state television said both the plane's black boxes and data recorders had been found.

According to a semi official local news agency, the head of Iran's civil aviation organiation said it's not clear which country Iran would send the black boxes to for analysis - but it would not give them to Boeing.

Major airlines around the world have cancelled flights to Iran and Iraq and re-routed others away from both countries' airspace.

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