A Ukrainian airplane carrying at least 170 people — including passengers and crew — crashed Wednesday morning shortly after takeoff near the airport in Tehran killing all on board, according to Iranian state-run television.
There was no immediate information about casualties, according to The Associated Press. The state TV report said the plane had taken off from the Imam Khomeini International Airport. Mechanical issues were blamed. Social media posts suggested the plane was en route to Kiev.
The Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) shared a video online that claims to show the plane catch fire as it descends. The video was not independently confirmed.
State TV initially said 180 passengers and crew aboard. The discrepancy could not be immediately reconciled.
An investigation team was at the site of the crash in southwestern outskirts of Tehran, civil aviation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh said.
“After taking off from Imam Khomeini international airport it crashed between Parand and Shahriar,” Jafarzadeh said. “An investigation team from the national aviation department was dispatched to the location after the news was announced.”
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.
Flight data from the airport showed a Ukrainian 737-800 flown by Ukraine International Airlines took off Wednesday morning, then stopped sending data almost immediately afterward, according to website FlightRadar24.
In a statement to Fox News, Boeing simply said: “We are aware of the media reports out of Iran and we are gathering more information.”
The Boeing 737-800 is a very common single-aisle, twin-engine jetliner used for short to medium-range flights. Thousands of the type of plane are used by airlines around the world. Introduced in the late 1990s, it is an older model than the Boeing 737 MAX, which has been grounded for nearly 10 months following two deadly crashes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.