Sixty-six passengers and crew members were killed when an Iran Aseman Airlines ATR 72-212 crashed into crashed into Mount Dena, south of Isfahan on Sunday morning at 8:45am (local time).
Iran’s third largest carrier was operating the twin-engine turboprop aircraft on the Tehran and Yasuj route when the 24-year-old ATR came down in the mountain 22 kilometres north of Yasuj Airport.
Weather conditions could have played a part in the accident as at the crash site there was strong winds and snow, which hampered the search and rescue services.
A spokesperson for Iran Aseman Airlines told state TV that Sunday’s flight 3704 crash killed all 66 people on board.
An investigation is being carried out into the cause of the accident, although there are reports that the airline has ruled out the possibility of technical failure, blaming bad weather. However, local media reported that the aircraft had technical problems in the past few weeks.
Iran’s aviation industry has been unable to modernise over the last few decades due to economic sanctions, but these have been eased and the country’s carriers have been penning aircraft orders to upgrade their fleets.
In April last year, Iran Aseman Airlines itself agreed to a deal with Boeing, to purchase 30 Boeing 737 aircraft (pictured above) at a value of $3 billion.
This is the second commercial aircraft crash in a week after a Saratov Airlines An-148 crashed near Moscow on 11 February killing 71 passengers and crew.