Tuesday Jan 03, 201205:04 PM GMT
Iran to probe Orumiyeh plane crash
Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:48PM
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At least 77 people have been killed and 27 injured in the crash.
Iranian Roads and Transportation Minister Hamid Behbahani says the government will probe the recent plane crash which claimed tens of lives in Iran's northwest.

“The two black boxes of the plane have been found and it will take awhile until the fact-finding committee can discover the main cause of the incident,” IRIB quoted Behbahani as saying on Sunday.

The Iranian minister made the comments in the northwestern city of Orumiyeh in West Azarbaijan province where the Sunday plane crash occurred.

Meanwhile, Iran's parliament (Majlis) announced a similar plan on Monday for a joint investigation with the transportation ministry into the crash that killed 77 people and left 27 others injured.

Head of the Development Committee of Majlis Ali Akbar Aqaei said that the committee would hold an emergency meeting with the road and transportation minister next Sunday to examine Orumiyeh plane crash.

“In addition to road and transportation minister, Behbahani, head of Iran's Aviation Organization as well as heads of airports are due to attend the meeting,” Aqaei pointed out.

The IranAir-operated plane crashed near Lake Orumiyeh, 700 kilometers (almost 435 miles) northwest of Tehran, after it took off from Mehrabad International Airport late on Sunday.

The American-made Boeing 727 had taken off from the Iranian capital, with a one-hour delay and was en route to Orumiyeh International Airport when the incident happened.

The plane reportedly headed for the runway to land, but was forced to delay the touchdown due to bad weather. The aircraft then disappeared from radar and crashed in a farmland after making a second attempt to land in the early evening hours.

A funeral procession for 65 of the victims of the accident is due to be held in Orumiyeh on January 11.

The sanctions by the United States prevent Iran from updating its 30-year-old aircraft and make it difficult to get European spare parts or planes.

In Iran's worst air accident, a Russian-made Ilyushin 76 crashed in the mountains of southeastern Iran in February 2003, killing 302 people on board.

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