Iran civil aviation refuses to confirm plane wreckage found
February 19 2018 09:53 AM
Iran plane crash
Relatives of passengers who were believed to have been killed in a plane crash react near the town of Semirom, Iran on Sunday.

Reuters, AFP/Tehran

Iran's Civil Aviation Organisation said on Monday it could not confirm reports that the wreckage had been found of an Iranian plane that crashed with 65 people on board on Sunday in central Iran, state television reported.
The deputy governor of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province was earlier quoted by state media as saying that the wreckage had been located near Dengezlu village, in Semirom county, in Isfahan province. 
Earlier on Monday, rescue teams resumed their search for the passenger plane that disappeared high in the Zagros mountains. 
State television said the weather had improved after blizzard conditions hampered search efforts on Sunday, and that helicopters were now able to take part in the hunt for Aseman Airlines flight EP3704.

A rescue helicopter searches for the Iranian plane that crashed in a mountainous area, on Monday. 

The authorities had called off the rescue effort overnight as heavy snow and rain made it impossible to work. 
The ATR-72 twin-engine plane, in service for 25 years, left the capital's Mehrabad airport at around 8:00 am on Sunday and was heading towards the city of Yasuj, some 500 kilometres to the south.
It is thought to have crashed on the Dena mountain of Iran's southwestern Zagros range, but one official said there could be as many as 100 peaks to search in the vast and remote area. 
"The visibility in the defined search area is not very good and there is turbulence, so these safety concerns must be taken into account," Morteza Dehghan of the Civil Aviation Organisation told state television. 
"Despite all these conditions, both land and air teams are active. As soon as permission is given, drones will be used as well."
Around 100 mountaineer rescue workers were deployed on Monday, state television said. 
France's air safety agency BEA said it would take part in the investigation led by Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch. 
"Three investigators and our technical advisers will go to the site," a BEA spokesman told AFP.

Last updated: February 19 2018 02:39 PM

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