Iran passenger plane 'crashes' near Orumiyeh

Jan 09 2011

_50723638_01_11_iran_orymiyeh.gifAn Iranian passenger plane with more than 100 people on board has crashed, Iranian media have reported.

The semi-official Fars news agency said of the 105 passengers and crew on board, at least 50 had survived.

The IranAir plane was flying from the capital Tehran when it came down near the north-western city of Orumiyeh - which was its final destination.

There have been a number of accidents involving Iranian planes over the last few years.

The plane crashed near Orumiyeh, 700km (430 miles) north-west of Tehran, at around 1945 local time (1615 GMT), an official in West Azerbaijan province said, quoted on Iranian state television's website.

The official said the plane had taken off an hour later than scheduled, and came down because of bad weather conditions.

Iran's civil fleet is made up of old planes in poor condition due to their age and lack of maintenance.

Last July a passenger plane burst into flames while landing in Mashhad, killing 17 passengers.

Ten days earlier, a Tupolev plane caught fire mid-air and crashed in northern Iran, killing all 168 people on board.

That incident was the third deadly crash of a Tupolev 154 in Iran since 2002.

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