Photos and videos emerged from journalists, the Getty photo service, and an Iranian relief agency showing the wreckage scene of the Ukrainian Airlines plane crash in Iran that took the lives of 176 people. The images are disturbing for what they don’t show: Much wreckage. They do show body bags and remnants of passengers’ belongings. You can see the photos and videos throughout this article.
Iran now admits shooting down the plane, saying it was done accidentally due to human error.
A dramatic video appears to show the moment that Ukrainian Flight 752 was shot down by a missile. The video was verified by The New York Times, which reported that the video shows the plane “above Parand, near Tehran’s airport,” which is where its signal stopped transmitting. The New York Times’ analysis of the video showed that the plane didn’t explode in the air when the missile hit it, but instead kept flying and turned back to the airport.
It caught fire and eventually exploded and crashed, as other videos earlier showed. Here’s the video:
Other were also investigating the video.
In addition, a video emerged that appears to show the plane as a ball of fire hurtling toward the ground, before exploding when it reached earth. There are no survivors. Farnaz Fassihi, a New York Times journalist, reported on Twitter that the plane “went down into ball of flames.” You can see a list of passengers and crew here and here.
So far, only the nationalities of the victims, but not their names, have been released. According to CNN, the Ukrainian foreign minister said people from these nationalities were on board the doomed aircraft:
– 82 Iranians
– 63 Canadians
– 11 Ukrainians
– 10 Swedes
– 4 Afghans
– 3 Germans
– 3 British nationals
Here’s what you need to know:
Canada’s Minister of Government Affairs Offered Condolences to the Victims & Photos Showed Distraught People Arriving at the Gate in Kiev
According to CBC, 167 of the dead were passengers and 9 were crew members. “Tragic news regarding Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752,” wrote Canada’s minister of government affairs, François-Philippe Champagne. “Our hearts are with the loved ones of the victims, including many Canadians. I have been in touch with the government of Ukraine. We will continue to keep Canadians informed as the situation evolves. #PS752.”
Some photos showed shocked people arriving at the gate in Kiev.
The Boeing 737 plane was carrying 176 people when it crashed upon takeoff in Tehran, Iran, according to multiple news reports in the US, England, and Iran. The evening of January 7, 2020 (US time – it’s morning in Tehran) was already a troubling one, after Iran launched missiles at Iraqi bases that house American soldiers. It’s not yet clear whether the missile attacks have anything to do with the plane crash. It would certainly be a terrible coincidence.
The Iranians Say the Cause Is Engine Malfunction But Ukraine Backed Off Earlier Comments Agreeing, Reports Say
Iranian media has given the cause as engine malfunction. The Ukrainian Embassy in Tehran posted the following statement, according to CNN: “According to preliminary information, the plane crashed due to an engine malfunction. The version of the terrorist attack or rocket attack is currently excluded.” However, CBC later reported that Ukraine has backed off any determination of cause at this point.
Ukraine is now calling for a criminal investigation.
The Canadian network, CBC, reported, though, that, while Ukrainian officials initially agreed with the technical problem cause claim, they “later backed away and declined to offer a cause while the investigation is ongoing.”
The earliest reports from Iranian media also claimed the plane had technical problems. However, CNN reported that those reports came from “Iran’s semi-official news agency ISNA.” You can read the ISNA story here.
Video Shows the Plane Crashing as a Ball of Fire
Some on Twitter were using early flight data to raise questions about the engine malfunction claim, as well as a video that appears to show the plane on fire before it crashed.
Ali Hashem, BBC’s Iran affairs correspondent, tweeted the first pictures of what he said was the crash scene. “Pictures of what’s left of the Ukrainian plane’s wreckage, nothing much, according to Iranian media it’s very unlikely that anyone survived,” he wrote. He first shared footage he claimed showed “the Ukrainian airplane while on fire falling near #Tehran.” The video tweeted by Hashem is not verified, but it derived from an Iranian news agency originally.
Then, he shared pictures that shows bits of airline parts in a field.
Iran’s Metropolises News Agency shared similar photos.
Qassem Biniaz, an official spokesman for Iran’s Road and Transportation Ministry, told Kyiv Post that “a fire erupted in one of its engines” right after takeoff, but he didn’t explain what caused the blaze.
The Plane Was Headed to Kiev, According to Flight Data Reports
Flight Radar 24 wrote, “We are following reports that a Ukrainian 737-800 has crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran. #PS752 departed Tehran at 02:42UTC. Last ADS-B data received at 02:44UTC.”
The flight history shows the plane bound for Kiev. It was supposed to leave Tehran at 5:15 a.m. local time, but took off an hour late.
CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz wrote on Twitter, “The Boeing 737 belonging to the Ukrainian Airlines had 180 passengers and crew aboard and crashed shortly after take-off due technical difficulties, ISNA says. Preliminary reports suggest that the plane was en route to Kiev.” BBC reported that the plane crash reports were coming from “local media.”
You can see the Flight Aware page for the plane here.
The Flight Aware page says the plane is Ukraine International 752 AUI752 / PS752. It took off from “Imam Khomeini Int’l – IKA.” It was destined for Boryspil, Ukraine. BBC reported that the plane belongs to Ukraine International Airlines.
The photos showed the plane was almost completely destroyed by the impact.
According to Kyiv Post, most of the plane’s passengers were ultimately destined for Toronto.
No Evidence Has Emerged Tying the Crash to the Missile Attacks
The report of the plane crash comes after Iran sent missiles to Iraqi bases housing American soldiers.
There’s no evidence, at least preliminarily, that’s emerged showing the missile attacks have anything to do with the plane crash, however. The BBC reported that it was “unclear whether the incident is linked to the Iran-US confrontation.”
The FAA in the U.S. had previously issued “flight restrictions that prohibit U.S. civil aviation operators from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, and the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.”
“No U.S. casualties in Iraq after missile strike from Iran, but assessment still ongoing: officials,” Lucas Tomlinson, Pentagon reporter for Fox News, also reported.
President Donald Trump said he will give a statement on January 8, 2020. Then he tweeted, “All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.” That tweet came before news of the plane crash broke.
Alyssa Farrah, the press secretary for the U.S. Department of Defense, provided this information on Twitter about the missile attacks:
“At approx 1730EST on 1/7, Iran launched at least a dozen ballistic missiles against US military &coalition forces in Iraq. It’s clear these missiles were launched from Iran & targeted at least 2 Iraqi military bases hosting US military &coalition personnel at Al-Assad & Irbil. We are working on initial battle damage assessments. In recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the @DeptofDefense has taken all appropriate measures to safeguard our personnel and partners. These bases have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces & interests in the region. As we evaluate the situation & our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect & defend U.S. personnel, partners, & allies in the region.”