Iran, Ukraine FMs ‘offer condolences’ over airplane crash

An aerial view of Ukraine International Airlines plane crash in Iran, January 8, 2020. (AFP)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko reportedly voiced their condolences and discussed the crash of Kiev-bound Ukrainian airliner in a phone conversation on Wednesday.

Reports by Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency disclosed on Wednesday that the foreign ministers “voiced their deep sympathies” and “offered condolences” over the incident that resulted in the death of all 176 passengers.

Early reports included speculation that the flight was downed by a missile, but the Ukrainian embassy in Iran stated that the crash was not an act of “terrorism.

Following the crash, Iran has placed restrictions on access to the plane's black box.

“Iran will not give the black box of the crashed Ukrainian airliner to plane maker Boeing,” Ali Abedzadeh, the head of Tehran’s civil aviation organisation was quoted saying by semi-official news agency, Mehr.

AFP further reported that the black box will not be given to the Americans amid hostilities between Iran and the US.

Ukraine’s Prystaiko pointed out that there were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedish, four Afghanis, three Germans and three British on board the Ukrainian airliner that crashed soon after take-off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport.

The plane was three years old and was a Boeing 737-800NG, according to a description by the air tracking service, FlightRadar24.

A spokesman for Boeing said the company was aware of media reports of a plane crash in Iran and was gathering more information.

Early 2019, Boeing’s 737 MAXs were involved in two crashes that eventually led to its grounding. That incident resulted in the death of 346 people.

International airlines from around the world are cancelling or rerouting flights as a precaution to unforeseeable obstacles over some regions of Middle East airspace owing to rising tension between Iran and the US.

- With Agencies.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:05 - GMT 07:05
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