Turkish private jet carrying 11 crashes in Iran

Update: March, 12/2018 - 14:32
A rescue team helicopter searches in Iran’s Zagros mountain range. - AFP/VNA Photo
Viet Nam News

TEHRAN A private Turkish plane with 11 people on board, all women, crashed in Iran on Sunday while taking the daughter of a top businessman and her friends back home to Turkey from a celebration in the United Arab Emirates.

Turkish and Iranian officials said there were eight passengers and three crew aboard the plane which crashed in the south of Iran while flying from Sharjah to Istanbul.

Media reports in Turkey said the eight passengers were Mina Basaran, the daughter of a leading Turkish businessman, and her seven friends who had spent the past days in the UAE to celebrate her marriage.

The crew, including the two pilots, were also all female, the reports said.

The reports, carried by the Hurriyet daily and several Turkish TV channels, said the Bombardier Challenger 604 private plane belonged to the Basaran Holding company of Mina’s father Huseyin.

The Istanbul-based Basaran is active in the energy, construction and tourism sectors. It also owns hotels.

Reports said that just a day before, the eight young women had posted a picture of themselves smiling and relaxing in Dubai on social media.

Mina Basaran had also posted a picture on social media of her boarding the same Bombardier plane before it left Istanbul for the UAE, the reports added.

She had become engaged in October and the UAE trip was a traditional “farewell” to her friends before marriage.

The 28-year-old had become a board member of her father’s company already in 2013, Turkish reports said.

Iranian media said the plane went down in remote mountains in the snow-capped Zagros range during bad weather.

The plane had left from the emirate of Sharjah and crashed near the city of Shahr-e Kord, about 400 kilometres (250 miles) south of Tehran, Iranian state television reported.

Sharjah Civil Aviation Department said in a statement that the plane "did not apply for maintenance procedures while on the ground at the airport."

The plane took off at 17:16 local time (13:16 GMT) and disappeared from the radar screen at 15:30 GMT, said the statement carried by the state WAM news agency.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.

Tasnim news agency quoted an ICAO official as saying: “The plane is on fire. After the pilot asked to lower altitude, it disappeared from the radar.”

Iranian media reported that rescuers had been dispatched by land to the crash site, which is located in a relatively isolated area of Helen’s Mountain -- a protected area in the Zagros range.

Some reports said the plane went down during heavy rain.

The head of Iran’s Red Crescent, Morteza Salimi, told state television that two helicopters would fly to the area on Monday morning “to search for the plane’s debris and bodies” -- indicating there could be no survivors. AFP