, TEHRAN, Aug 10 – A civilian airliner crashed on take-off in a residential area near Tehran’s Mehrabad airport on Sunday, Iranian news agencies said, with reports that almost 50 people were killed.
The plane was headed to the eastern city of Tabas, the IRNA and Fars news agencies said, and crashed at 9.18 am (0448 GMT).
The official IRINN television channel said the plane crashed in the Azadi neighbourhood, west of the airport, but did not state if fatalities were confined to passengers or if people were also killed on the ground.
“All the passengers are dead,” a fire service spokesman said on IRNA. A second unnamed official said 48 people were on board the turboprop Antonov An-140 aircraft when it crashed.
There were conflicting accounts of the airline that the plane belonged to, with one report saying it was a Taban Airlines aircraft while another said it was owned by Sepahan Airlines.
Mehrabad is near central Tehran and is Iran’s main domestic hub and by far the busiest of the country’s airports, serving routes to all Iranian cities.
Most international flights take off from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, which is located further west of the Iranian capital.