Over 50 injured in air crash in northwest Iran

09:58, January 10, 2011      

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At least 50 people were injured after a passenger plane with 105 passengers and crew members on board crashed Sunday in northwest Iran, local media reported.

The plane, which took off from Tehran, had nearly arrived in its destination the city of Uroumieh, but couldn't land due to the bad weather there. It was then asked by the Uroumieh local airport management to land somewhere else, Fars news agency reported.

The plane, identified as a Boeing 727 belonging to the state airline Iran Air, later lost contact with the airport and was found crashed near a village called Tarmani.

Earlier reports said over 50 passengers survived the accident.

The takeoff of the plane had been delayed twice because of the bad weather in Tehran, which saw brief snow on Sunday morning.

In the past, Iran's airlines, both civil and military, suffered a number of flight disasters.

In July 2009, a Caspian Airlines plane crashed near the northwestern city of Qazvin, killing all 168 people on board.

Experts believe that the U.S.-imposed sanctions against Iran, which prevented its allies from selling aircraft or aircraft parts to the country, have undermined safety standards in Iran's civil and military aviation fleet and increased the possibility of major air disasters.

Source: Xinhua
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