Boeing is now under growing pressure after experiencing two plane crashes in 2019.
Rabat – A Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 plane carrying 176 passengers, including crew members, crashed shortly after takeoff near Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on Wednesday, January 8 early morning.
Iran’s state television said that the crash killed everyone on board, the majority of the passengers were Iranians. The news outlet added that the cause of the crash was technical.
Qassem Biniaz, a spokesman for Iran’s Road and Transportation Ministry, said, however, that the plane crashed after a fire sparked in one of its engines.
He added that the pilot then lost control of the plane, and subsequently crashed into the ground, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.
The crash took place following Iran’s strike on two US bases in Iraq that house American troops on Wednesday.
The plane left the airport at 6:12 a.m. and lost contact at 6:14 a.m.
At a news conference at Kyiv’s Boryspil International Airport several hours after the crash, Ukraine International Airlines executives said that the plane was in good working order and operated by a highly trained crew.
The executive did not draw any conclusions as to what might have been the cause, declining to comment about the possibility of the plane being shot down.
“Given their experience, it is very difficult to say that there was something wrong with the crew,” Ihor Sosnovskyi, the airline’s vice president of flight operations, said at the briefing.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has ordered the prosecutor general to open a criminal investigation into the crash and to check the country’s entire civil aviation fleet.
Ukraine’s minister of foreign affairs, Vadym Prystaik, said the victims included 82 Iranians and 11 Ukrainians, including nine Ukrainian crew members in addition to 63 Canadian passengers, 10 from Sweden, four from Afghanistan, three from Germany, and three from the UK.
Boeing is now facing another hurdle after it experienced two 737 MAX 8 plane crashes, killing together 346 people.
The 737 MAX 8 planes have been grounded since March 2019 and the company was under severe scrutiny, leading to the firing of its chief executive Dennis A. Muilenburg,
“We are aware of the media reports out of Iran and we are gathering more information,” Boeing said in a statement.