Source Pravda.Ru

17 Killed, 21 Injured in Iran Plane Crash

An Iranian passenger airliner skidded off an airport runway and burst into flames in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashad on Friday, killing at least 17 people and injuring about 20, according to government-backed Press TV.

There were 150 passengers on board Aryan Airlines Flight 1625, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency, or IRNA. There was no immediate information on the number of crew, CNN reports.

"All the dead and injured people and passengers have been evacuated and the fire has been completely controlled," the deputy governor of Khorasan province, Ghahreman Rashid said, according to IRNA.

A senior transport official said the incoming aircraft had overshot the runway.

"Instead of landing at the beginning of the tarmac, the plane landed in the middle of the runway," the ISNA news agency quoted deputy transport minister Ahmad Majidi as saying, AFP reports.

Mr Rashid said 17 people had been killed and 21 injured, but state TV later reported the lower figures.

Footage shown on Iran's Press TV showed the aircraft surrounded by emergency vehicles with the cockpit almost entirely destroyed.

The cause of the crash is not yet known but state media quoted an airport official as saying there had been "a technical glitch".

Iran has a notoriously bad air safety record.

Sanctions imposed on the country by the US mean both public and private airlines rely on ageing fleets and have trouble sourcing replacement parts, says the BBC's Jon Leyne, BBC Neaws reports.

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