Iranian cargo plane crashes into Karaj houses

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A Boeing 707 cargo plane, reported by local press as belonging to the Iranian military, crashed into houses in Karaj, near Tehran, the Iranian capital, yesterday. All but one of the sixteen on-board died; no deaths were reported on the ground, with local media reporting no-one was in the houses.

File image depicting Karaj.
Image: mojtaba.

The aircraft came down into a residential area between Fath Airport, where it was attempting to land, and Payam International Airport. Fath Airport is owned by the Revolutionary Guards. State media reported the cockpit voice recorder was recovered. The army said the plane was bringing meat from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan "to help the country's economy."

Fars News said the crash involved pilot error. The lone survivor was a flight engineer. The entire crew were Iranians, the army said. Press TV said the crash was followed by a fire. Photographs showed the aircraft, sans wings, with the cockpit buried within a house and twisted engine parts strewn around.

The Aviation Herald reported the failed landing at Fath, which has a much shorter runway than Payam, was a mistake and the jet was supposed to land at Payam. The industry publication stated the aircraft overran the runway and broke through a perimeter barrier. It cited the Air Force as stating Saha Airlines owned the plane, and claimed a reported sixteenth death.

In 2018 another aircraft confused the two airports, performing an emergency go around at "very low height" according to The Aviation Herald.

The Centre for Aviation's database of air carriers lists Saha as belonging to the Air Force and states it runs flights with Boeing 707s and Airbus A300s, but uses Boeing 747s for freight. Airfleets, a database detailing the aircraft operated by commercial carriers, states the aircraft uses the A300 and 747 as well as the Boeing 737. It does not, however, list any 707s. The Aviation Herald states the 707 was a freighter, despite photos showing a row of windows along each side; it lists a tail number of EP-CPP.

Wikinews contacted Boeing in an effort to establish the plane's initial configuration when manufactured. Boeing did not release any specific information about the initial build, telling Wikinews the company "extends its profound condolences to the families and friends of those lost[...] as well as our best wishes for the recovery of those injured." Boeing referred to the 707 involved as a "cargo plane".

Iran's air fleet is ageing, with sanctions restricting the purchase of both new planes and parts to maintain those already owned.


This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.