Plane crash in Iran leaves 78 dead

by Ella FAIRCHILD on January 10, 2011

At least 78 passengers are dead after a plane crashed outside of Orumieh during severe weather.

The Boeing 727 was arriving from Tehran when it was unable to land at the Orumieh airport because of the severe weather conditions. The aircraft reportedly came down near the south-side of Orumieh lake with 105 people on board at the time of the crash.

According to the ISNA news agency, 78 have been confirmed dead and another 24 are injured. Iranian media has said that the black box has been recovered. Among those taken to hospital, 10 are in critical condition.

The state news agency said that initial reports had said the plane crashed near the rural village of Termani. It also said that the plan was meant to land at the Orumieh airport, but bad weather had caused the pilot to back off and try again, but it disappeared from radars during the second attempt.

The incident occurred at 19:45 local time. The jet was carrying 95 passengers and had 10 crew members on board. The head of the crisis unit in Orumieh, Mahboub Zare said that a rescue squad was sent to the area.

The rescue operations have been hampered by the 50cm of snow that blanket the area. In recent years, Iran has seen hundreds killed by plane crashes and experts have said that it is old planes and lack of spare parts to be blamed.

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