176 people killed when passenger plane crashes in Iran

176 people killed when passenger plane crashes in Iran
© Getty

All 176 people on board a passenger plane were killed when it crashed in Iran shortly after taking off, reportedly due to technical issues.

Iranian state media reported that the Boeing 737-800 plane, belonging to Ukraine International Airlines, crashed near the Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran, according to several news outlets.

The flight was headed to Ukraine, where President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday ordered a review of all passenger aircraft in his country in response.

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“Our task is to establish the cause of the crash of the Boeing and provide all necessary help to the families of the victims,” Ukraine's parliamentary speaker said Wednesday morning, according to The Associated Press.

The crash reportedly occurred near a soccer field, and the pilot is thought to have attempted to direct the plane away from a residential area.

“It was one of the best planes we had, with an amazing, reliable crew,” Ukraine International Airlines President Yevhen Dykhne told reporters Wednesday.

News of the crash came hours after Iran said it had fired missiles at two bases in Iraq housing U.S. forces, a marked escalation in recent tensions between Washington and Tehran.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday had issued an emergency restriction for Persian Gulf airspace after Iran fired the missiles.

Iranian officials did not give a specific reason for the crash Wednesday morning, but told reporters that a mechanical issue was suspected. 

“This is a tragic event and our heartfelt thoughts are with the crew, passengers and their families,” Boeing said in a statement obtained by the AP. “We are in contact with our airline customer and stand by them in this difficult time. We are ready to assist in any way needed.”

--This developing report was last updated Jan. 8 at 7:21 a.m.