Weeping relatives rushed to the scene of a plane crash in Tehran on Tuesday after the aircraft clipped the top of a 10-storey building in the Iranian capital, killing at least 128 people. The military transport plane, which was loaded with Iranian journalists, crashed into an apartment block as it tried to make an emergency landing after developing engine trouble.
All 94 people on the plane were killed, most of them Iranian radio and television journalists heading to cover military manoeuvres in the south. Thirty-four residents of the apartment building also died, and 90 were injured,Tehran state radio said. Flames leapt from windows, from the roof and several other floors of the building as panicked residents fled the Towhid complex, a series of high-rise apartment buildings for air force personnel in the Azadi suburb of Tehran. Firefighters managed to put out the fire, and police cordoned off the building and debris field, preventing journalists and the large crowd, which gathered from getting close to the site.
Many in the crowd were screaming, fearing that their relatives had been killed.People rushed to the scene, many visibly distressed as they tried to get news of their loved ones. The head of Iran's Red Crescent Alamb Dari said all the dead bodies had been removed from the scene and the injured had been taken to hospital.
Several hours after the crash, the building still was smouldering, with black smoke hanging in the air. One resident, Ali Abedi said that no one wanted to accept responsibility and there was no information about people who were missing. He said that he couldn't determine if his relative was in the building or not.
The ground survivors from the plane crash have been transported to a series of hospitals throughout the capital, as emergency crews continue to sift through the smouldering rubble. The C-130 aircraft had just taken off from the nearby Mehrabad airport en route to Bandar Abbas, a port city in southern Iran, when it developed engine trouble and was returning to the airport for an emergency landing.
It lost altitude because of the engine failure and the pilot was unable to avoid the apartment compound, state-run television said, discounting sabotage or terrorism, reports the AP. I.L.