A Ukranian Airline Boeing 737 flight carrying 176 people crashed early hours of Wednesday morning hours after Iran's attack on US bases, sparking fears it has been accidentally shot down by Iranian military amidst tensions between Iran and the US.
The airliner, a Boeing 737-800, went down around Parand, 60 kilometers south-west of the Iranian capital and the Imam Khomeini International Airport, told Fars News Agency the plane suffered technical problems that led to its crash.
But Flight data shows the plane reached an altitude of 2.4 km and then disappeared three minutes after take-off with video footage appearing to show the footage of the plane on fire as it fell from the sky into a farm field meaning it's possible nervous Iranian airforce pilots might have shot down the plane as it barred Western airlines from traveling around its airspace and might have viewed the plane as an enemy combatant.
If the flight was really shot down by Iranian forces, then it will change the dynamics of the US/Iran tensions already engulfing the Middle East after reports emanated Tuesday night that Iran had attacked two US airbases in Iraq.
Investigations are still being carried out by Ukranian officials and more information will be released soon.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky expressed condolences in a message from his holiday in Oman.
'Terrible news from the Middle East,' he posted from his vacation in the Middle Eastern country. 'This morning, after taking off from the Imam Khomeini International Airport (Tehran), a passenger plane of Ukraine International Airlines crashed near the airport.
'According to preliminary data, all passengers and crew members were killed. Our embassy clarifies the information about the circumstances of the tragedy and the lists of casualties.
'My sincere condolences to the families and friends of all passengers and crew members.