TEHRAN, Iran - A Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 carrying 176 passengers and crew crashed Wednesday near an airport in the capital, Tehran, state TV reported. Nobody survived the crash, officials said.
Meanwhile, the Iranian Road and Transportation Ministry said an engine fire broke out before the pilot lost control of the aircraft, state media reported.
“It appeared the pilot couldn’t communicate with air-traffic controllers in Tehran in the last moments of the flight,” The Associated Press reported, citing Hassan Rezaeifar of the Iran Civil Aviation Organization.
The cause of the crash remains unclear, according to the AP.
Update 4:08 a.m. EST Jan. 8: Ukrainian officials have revealed the nationalities of the victims killed in Wednesday’s plane crash.
According to Foreign Minister Vadim Prystaiko, the dead include 82 people from Iran, 63 from Canada, 11 from Ukraine, 10 from Sweden, four from Afghanistan, three from Germany and three from Britain, The Associated Press reported.
Nine of the Ukrainian victims were crew members, Prystaiko said.
Original report: The plane had taken off from Imam Khomeini International Airport, the report said. The crash is suspected to have been caused by mechanical issues, it added, without elaborating.
An investigation team was at the site of the crash in southwestern outskirts of Tehran, civil aviation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh said.
The crash came hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack targeting two bases in Iraq housing U.S. forces in retaliation for the killing of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.