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'At Least 70 Dead' In Iran Air Crash


The Boeing 727 crashed in a snowstorm after being unable to land at Orumieh Airport late on January 9.
An Iranian passenger plane with at least 105 passengers and crew aboard crashed near Orumieh in northwestern Iran late on January 9, killing at least 70 people.

Reports, including from the official IRNA news agency, put the number of dead at 70 and said another 35 were injured, some critically. Other reports -- including one quoting a provincial official, Javad Mahmudi -- said at least 77 people were dead.

State television showed footage of the wreckage of the plane, which appeared to have broken into several sections on impact. There was said to have been minimal fire and no major explosion.

According to the Iranian news agency ISNA, the Boejing aircraft belonged to the state airline Iran Air.

Investigators were still trying to figure out what happened when the pilots reported a technical failure and attempted an emergency landing in a heavy snowstorm.

State television said the emergency landing was a second attempt.

Masumi said the rescue operation was being hampered by bad weather.

compiled from agency reports