Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Iranian plane headed to Armenia crashes, all 168 dead

the Caspian Airlines plane crashed near the city of Qazvin, northwest of Tehran, shortly after takeoff from the capital.tate TV says 168 people were killed when a passenger plane crashed Wednesday in northwest Iran.

53 passengers and 15 crewmembers were on the Russian-made Caspian Airlines jet that had been headed from Tehran to the Armenian capital yerevan.

Footage from the scene on state-run Press TV shows a deep trench smashed into an agricultural field by the impact, littered with smoking wreckage. It showed a large chunk of a wing, but much of the wreckage appeared to be in small pieces.The Caspian Airlines jet was heading from Tehran to the Armenian capital Yerevan when it crashed near the village of Jannatabad outside the city of Qazvin, around 75 miles northwest of Tehran, state television said.

Caspian Airlines is a Russian-Iranian joint venture founded in 1993. Iran has frequent plane crashes, which it blames on U.S. sanctions on the country that prevent it from getting spare parts for aging airplanes. Caspian Airlines, however, uses Russian-made aircraft whose maintenance would be less impaired by American sanctions.

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