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Tragedy in Iran as Ukrainian passenger plane carrying 176 people crashes shortly after takeoff

A Boeing 737 plane carrying 176 passengers and crew reportedly crashed shortly after takeoff from Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran, Iran's capital. 

The Ukrainian International Airlines plane which took off from the Iranian capital city's main international airport by 6:12 am Tehran time on Wednesday, January 8, went down eight minutes after takeoff according to flight tracking websites.

Though a video purportedly of the crash circulated by the ISNA news agency showed the aircraft burning as it fell from the sky, early indications suggested the crash did not appear to have links to Wednesday morning’s missile strikes on bases in Iraq hosting US and coalition troops.

Pirhossein Koulivand, head of Iran's Emergency Medical Services said emergency crew members have been dispatched to the crash site but couldn't assist because the area is currently ablaze.

The airplane which crashed has reportedly been in service for about three and half years according to flight-tracking service FlightRadar 24. 

It is also believed that the Boeing 737 airplane belongs to the same family as the 737 Max 8 aircraft, which has been grounded since suffering two fatal crashes within six months in Indonesia and Ethiopia.