The passengers and crew of the Ukrainian airliner downed by the Iranian military in January were still alive after the plane was hit with the first of two missiles, according to data retrieved from the airliner’s black boxes, an Iranian official said Sunday.
The announcement by the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization marks the first official report on the contents of the cockpit voice and data recordings, which were sent to France for reading in July.
The plane was hit with two missiles fired 25 seconds apart, Touraj Dehghani-Zanganeh said.
People on the plane were alive 19 seconds after the first missile hit the plane, he said.
The first missile caused “significant damage” to the plane, Dehghani-Zanganeh said, adding that there is no data available on the impact of the second missile.
Iran will announce its final findings on the plane’s downing in a year, he said.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 on January 8, killing all 176 onboard. The incident happened the same night Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on military bases in Iraq hosting US troops in response to the American drone strike that killed IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3.
Iran admitted to downing the plane after days of denying responsibility and insisting the plane crashed due to a “technical failure.”
- With Reuters
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