168, Including 40 Armenians Killed in Iranian Plane Crash

A Russian-built Caspian Airlines plane crashed in Iran headed for Yerevan, Armenia on Wednesday after it caught on fire in mid-air and killed all 168 people on board when it collided into farmland near the city of Qazvin, just 16 minutes after take off.

Eight members of Iran’s youth judo team and many Armenians were among those killed, included two who were part of the flight crew. Iran is home to around 100,000 ethnic Armenians who usually fly between the two bordering countries to visit relatives.

Reuters, BBC as well as the NY Times have thorough reports on details of the crash, which is the deadliest since 2003, when a Russian built Ilyushin Il-76 crashed into an Iranian mountain.

This page will be updated with more information as and when it comes in.

  • Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan signed a decree announcing July 16 a mourning day in Armenia.
  • TehranBureau has a opinion piece on a “personal account of loss, and a historical reminder of America’s complicity in the 1,571 civilian air deaths in Iran since the Revolution.”
  • Ten percent of the 40 crashes by Russian-built Tupolev Tu-154s have been in Iran. But Russian experts say its a reliable jet – a report from The Christian Science Monitor.
  • Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has instructed his transportation minister to launch an immediate investigation into the crash, according to a statement released by his office that expressed his condolences to the families of crash victims.
  • Levon Davidian, ex-Deputy of the Iranian Parliament and prominent figure in the Armenian community in Iran was one of those killed in the crash.
  • The Associated Press has the following video of the aftermath of the crash. A witness describes that the airliner “fell out of the sky.”

  • The U.S Department of State posted the following: “The United States extends it condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in today’s crash of a Caspian Airlines plane carrying passengers from Tehran, Iran to Yerevan, Armenia.  We are working through the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan and the Swiss Protecting Power in Iran to determine whether any American citizens were on board.”
  • Passenger list of Armenians killed on the flight:
  1. Annette Ajang
  2. Nana Antashian
  3. Edwin Asatrian
  4. Arshavir Avakian
  5. Azat AvanesianRead More
  6. Anoush Baboumian
  7. Anna Poghosian
  8. Levon Davtian
  9. Martin Ter-Avanesian
  10. Naira Stepanian
  11. Shogher Stepanian
  12. Melin Garanian
  13. Karapet Ghoukasian
  14. Armen Sargsian
  15. Vavo Sargsian
  16. Armen Sargsian
  17. Yurik Shahbazian
  18. Mrs. Shahmouradian
  19. Khatchatour Simonian
  20. Ara Siroyan
  21. Zarmineh Souktazian
  22. Vartanoush Tahmazian
  23. Lousik Taroumian
  24. Ramon Taroumian
  25. Christine Ter-Hovannisian
  26. Anahita Ter-Hovannisian
  27. Tadeh Timash
  28. R. Yaghoubian
  29. Arthur Gregorian
  30. Taline Karapetian
  31. Edward Khatchik
  32. Nairi Mayilian
  33. Florik Hovsepian
  34. Arshavir Manaserian
  35. Karine Markarian
  36. Massis Matian
  37. Ani Melkoumkar
  38. Arin Melkoumkar
  39. Edward Navasartian
  40. Ashot Nersisian
  • Press TV reports that the airplane’s two black boxes have been recovered. “Ahmad Majidi, Head of the Crisis Working Group of Iran’s Road and Transportation Ministry, told IRNA that experts from Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) have recovered the two boxes. Majidi noted that the black boxes of the Tupolev plane were heavily damaged but experts are trying to retrieve data from them.”
  • Iran’s air safety record is notoriously bad because of sanctions imposed by the U.S, says Jon Leyne of BBC News. Because of sanctions imposed by the United States, Iran relies on an increasingly aging fleet of airliners, and has trouble buying spares.There are tales of aircrew buying spare parts on flights to Europe, then sneaking them back to Iran in the cockpit. While those sanctions don’t apply to aircraft from Russia and Ukraine, many planes from those countries in the Iranian fleet also appear well past their best.
  • A Canadian-Armenian mother and son were among the victims of the plane crash, reports the Toronto Star. “I saw them off from behind the glass,” Khachik said during a phone interview from Tehran yesterday. “That was the last time I saw them.”He had barely returned to his sister’s house from the airport when he heard the plane had gone down. The Caspian Airlines flight crashed Wednesday in an agricultural area, 16 minutes after takeoff, killing all 156 passengers and 12 crew.



Related Posts