Crash in Iran: Kiev studies seven theses including that of a missile
Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737 that crashed in Tehran on Wednesday, killing 176 mostly Iranian-Canadian men, turned around after “problem”, Iranian survey sources say .
In Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky declared national mourning for Thursday.
“The priority for Ukraine is to establish the causes of this disaster”, while 45 Ukrainian experts are in Tehran to participate in the investigation.
Sergei Danylov, secretary of the Ukrainian Security and Defense Council, said that Kiev was studying seven theses of the crash, including that of a missile, an attack or a technical problem.
“We are scrutinizing all the theses, there are seven,” he told AFP. For now, “none is a priority,” he said.
UIA flight PS752 disappeared from radar screens after two minutes of flight.
The Iranian Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) says that “the pilot did not transmit any radio message indicating unusual circumstances”
“According to eyewitnesses, a fire was observed on the plane and has increased in intensity,” said the CAD’s first preliminary investigation report.
After the departure of the still unknown original light, the plane changed direction, and, according to the CAD, it “was on the way back to the airport” when it crashed in a nearby leisure park. from Chahriar, a town located about twenty kilometers west of the Tehran metropolitan area.
READ ALSO: At least 63 Canadians among plane crash victims in Iran
The CAD suggests that witnesses to the fire include people on the ground and others aboard an aircraft which was allegedly above the Boeing at the time of the start of the drama.
The organization says that a first meeting between Iranian and Ukrainian experts started at midday.
According to Zelensky, experts from his country must participate “in the decryption of black boxes” and are responsible for “identifying and repatriating” the Ukrainian victims.
The UIA Boeing took off at 6:10 a.m. (2:40 a.m. GMT) from Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran to Boryspil Airport in Kiev.
According to Ukrainian diplomacy, were on board the Boeing 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, ten Swedes, four Afghans and three British. Eleven others were Ukrainians, including the nine crew members.
The CAO, for its part, indicates that 146 passengers were carrying an Iranian passport, ten of an Afghan passport, five of a Canadian passport, 4 of a Swedish passport in addition to the 11 Ukrainians.
The difference is explained by the presence of many binationals (including a priori 140 Iranian-Canadians) who can only enter and leave the Islamic Republic on presentation of their Iranian passport.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called for a “thorough investigation” into the air disaster, the deadliest involving Canadians since the 1985 bombing of an Air India Boeing 747 in which 268 Canadians were killed.
It is also the deadliest civilian plane crash in Iran.
“Canadians have questions to ask, and they deserve answers,” said Mr. Trudeau.
Host country of a large Iranian diaspora, Canada broke off diplomatic relations with Iran in 2012 by criticizing the Islamic Republic for supporting the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
Nevertheless, according to Tehran, the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, discussed by telephone Thursday with his Canadian counterpart François-Philippe Champagne “the crash of the Ukrainian plane and other subjects”.
The United States, for its part, called for “full cooperation with any investigation into the causes.” A barely veiled warning to Tehran, which said it refused to give the black boxes to the American manufacturer of the aircraft, Boeing.
But the CAO said without further details that the black boxes, found as of Wednesday, would be sent “abroad”.
“One percent of our community”
Only a few countries, including the United States, but also Germany or France, have the technical capacity to analyze black boxes.
The UIA 737 disaster occurred against the backdrop of serious tensions between Iran and the United States, and shortly after Tehran fired missiles at bases used by the US military in Iraq.
About 30 of the victims were from the Edmonton region of western Canada. “We lost about 1% of our community on this flight,” said a member of the local Iranian community.
According to the company, which suspended its flights to Tehran, the Boeing 737, built in 2016, had undergone a technical check two days ago.
It is the first deadly crash for UIA, a company which partly belongs to the sulphurous oligarch Igor Kolomoïski, reputed to be close to Mr. Zelensky.
Boeing, touched by a scandal around its 737 MAX nailed to the ground for 10 months, indicated to be “ready to help by all the necessary means”.