Private Turkish plane with 11 on board crashes in western Iran
A private Turkish plane flying from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to the Turkish city of Istanbul with at least 11 people on board has crashed in western Iran, the spokesman for Iran's Civil Aviation Organization says.
The Turkish jet suddenly disappeared from the radar while passing through Iran's airspace and crashed near the Iranian city of Shahrekord in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province Sunday evening, IRNA quoted Reza Jafarzadeh as saying.
The official added that the agency was investigating the incident.
Mojtaba Khaledi, the spokesman of the National Disaster Management Organization of Iran, said the plane hit a mountain near Shahrekord and burst into flames.
Rescuers were trying to reach the crash site but the terrain was mountainous making their approach difficult.
Turkey's private Dogan News Agency identified the plane as a Bombardier CL604, tail number TC-TRB.
Turkey's NTV channel quoted the Turkish Transport Ministry as saying that the plane belonged to the Istanbul-based Basaran Holding Company, which is active in the energy, construction and tourism sectors.
Meanwhile, the President of the Turkish Red Crescent Kerem Kinik said on his Twitter account that all eight passengers on board the plane were killed in the crash.
Villagers near the crash site said they saw flames coming from the plane's engine before the crash.
According to a post on the official Twitter account of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, 10 rescue teams have been dispatched to the site of the disaster to search for possible survivors.
Later on Sunday, the spokesman of Iran's Foreign Ministry expressed the country’s profound condolences over the incident.
Bahram Qassemi said several rescue groups had been immediately dispatched to the site of the Turkish plane crash and are reaching there despite extremely foul weather conditions in the region.