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B-737 plane crash. Canada: "shot down by missile", Iran: "big lie"

Tehran asks Washington to await the results of the investigation

The plot of the mystery surrounding the crash of the Ukraine Airlines B-737 plane in Tehran which killed 176 people thickens (see AVIONEWS). Iran strongly rejects statements by Canadian President Justin Trudeau: "According to several sources from both the allies and our own intelligence, the aircraft was shot down by an Iranian missile". And he adds that however "it may have been unintended". British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also confirmed. The president of the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization, Ali Abedzadeh, said in a press conference this morning, denying the accusations: "A big lie. One thing is certain: this plane was not hit by a missile". The spokesman for the government of Tehran, Ali Rabiei added, "Nobody will take responsibility for such a big lie once you know it is a dishonest thesis". Rabiei considers it a "US government psychological warfare operation".

The Iranian Civil Aviation Organization released the first report the day after the tragedy, highlighting that "the only objective of the investigation into an accident is to prevent others, not to assign blame or responsibility". The document traces the various steps, from the take-off of the aircraft from the Tehran international airport to the Kiev airport, up to the disaster. The B-737 had left at 6:13 am (local time), was to reach a cruising altitude of 26,000 feet. At 6:18, reaching 8000, it disappeared from the radar. According to the note, the Boeing 737 was heading west when it experienced problems, therefore it veered to the right in an attempt to return to the airport but crashed near Sabashahr (see AVIONEWS). The pilot did not forward any messages to the control tower and there were no survivors. According to witnesses mentioned in the report, a fire was visible on the plane before the crash. Several points of impact were recorded in the area with the fuselage disintegrated. One of the aircraft's Emergency Location Transmitters (ELT) had been activated but the antenna broke off due to the accident: this type of signal is triggered in the event of a violent impact, sometimes even following a particularly heavy landing". They can be activated manually from the cockpit or (for portable ones) also with a switch located directly on the unit. Black boxes have been found (which Iran did not want to deliver to the American manufacturer Boeing - see AVIONEWS).

A delegation of Ukrainian experts is in Iran and the spokesman asked "Boeing to send its staff to participate in the recovery of black box data". The Islamic Republic reiterated, "welcomes the participation of all the countries that have lost their compatriots in the accident".

RC3 - 1226971

AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency