Early on 8 January, Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) Boeing 737-800 flight PS752 bound for Kiev, Ukraine crashed minutes after taking off from Tehran's Khomeini Airport. It was carrying 167 passengers and nine crewmembers.
Here is what is known about the deadly aviation incident so far:
- The plane was manufactured in 2016 and successfully passed maintenance and checks ahead of its last flight.
- According to reports by local media outlets and alleged footage showing the crash, one of the jet's engines caught fire mid-flight, allegedly due to a technical problem. The latter has not been confirmed officially so far.
- Ukraine’s Embassy in Iran initially ruled out a terror attack as the possible cause of the crash, but later retracted the statement, saying that a probe will be conducted by an investigative committee.
- The airline that owned the jet stated that the Boeing 737-800 was functioning properly and that the probability of a human error on the pilots' part was minimal due to them being highly qualified professionals.
- Both of the plane's black boxes containing information useful for the investigation have already been located.
- Ukraine has announced the establishment of a commission that will determine the cause of the Boeing's crash. The country's authorities have also suspended all flights above Iranian territory until the cause of the crash has been determined.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also said that a criminal investigation into the incident had been opened, adding that all theories need to be probed.
- The country's Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk promised to send aviation experts to Iran to assist in the investigation of the crash.
- The plane's manufacturer, the Boeing Corporation, stated that it is also gathering info related to the 737-800 jet's crash.
- There were a total of 167 passengers as well as nine crewmembers on board the aircraft when it crashed.
- All of them died in the incident as the plane became engulfed in fire mid-flight, the head of Iran's Emergency Department said.
- The majority of passengers came from Iran – 82 in total. The plane was also carrying 63 Canadians, 10 Swedes, 4 Afghans, 3 Germans, and 3 Brits. It also carried 11 Ukrainians, 9 of whom were crew members.
Flight PS752 crashed on the same night as the Iranian military conducted missile strikes on US military facilities in Iraq in retaliation for the murder of its high-ranking General Qasem Soleimani. However, no official statements have indicated whether the two events are linked in some way.