The Aseman Airlines plane disappeared from radar screens 50 minutes into Sunday’s flight from Tehran to the southwestern city of Yasuj. Iranian military located the wreckage in the central province of Isfahan on Tuesday morning.
“Only parts of the airplane are visible and the rest is deeply buried... The rescue team have seen 30 bodies on the ground,” an official from Iran’s Red Crescent was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.
The remaining passengers and crew were buried under the snow, the official said.
“The plane had hit top of the mountain before crashing 30 metres (100 feet) further down,” the pilot of a rescue helicopter told state television.
Glacial temperatures and the mountainous terrain hampered search and rescue efforts, adding to the grief and anger felt by families of the victims in a society plagued by risky air travel where officials blame decades of sanctions for the poor state of national fleet.
The twin-engined turboprop ATR 72 that crashed was over 24 years old. According to data cited by the Flight Safety Foundation’s aviation-safety.net website, it was restored to service just three months ago after being in storage for six years.
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