*Scene of the Crash of the Ukraine International Airlines flight
January 2020 has gone down the history of global aviation as all 176 people on board a Ukraine International Airlines flight were killed. The passengers and crew perished when the plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran, the country’s state-run Press TV reported.
The Boeing 737 jet took off early Wednesday morning with 167 passengers and nine crew on board, Press TV reported, citing Ali Khashani, a senior public relations official at the airport. Earlier reports from Iranian state media had said 180 people were on board. Emergency crews were dispatched to the crash site but could not assist because the area is currently ablaze, said Pirhossein Koulivand, the head of Iran’s Emergency Medical Services. Koulivand told state-run media outlet IRINN that the crash site is between the cities of Parand and Shahriar.
Flight-tracking service FlightRadar 24 said in a tweet that the jet had been in service for about three and a half years. Iran’s semi-official news agency ISNA reported the crash was due to technical difficulties. A Boeing spokesperson told CNN they are “aware of the media reports out of Iran and we are gathering more information.”
The crash takes place just days before the company’s new CEO David Calhoun will formally take the job. Calhoun replaces Dennis Muilenburg, who was ousted in December after Boeing’s disastrous year. The American aviation giant is still reeling from the aftermath of two 737 Max crashes, which killed 346 people. The Max has been grounded worldwide since March, and the company has struggled with delays and other issues in its bid to get the planes back in the air.