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Iran plane was most likely SHOT DOWN as crash pics show ‘obvious projectile holes’, say expert

A PLANE that crashed killing 176 people hours after an Iranian missile strike on US bases was “likely” shot down and wreckage shows “obvious projectile holes”, experts say.

The Kiev-bound Ukraine International Airlines jet came down shortly after taking off from Tehran Airport in Iran this morning, killing everyone on board.

 The fuselage is seen covered in small shrapnel holesCredit: Reuters

Part of the aircraft’s wing can be seen riddled with holesCredit: Abolfazle Mahrokh/ISNA
The plane’s black box flight recorder was pictured on Iranian TV

Another chunk of the plane with the airline’s logo is seen peppered with holes

Rescue workers walk past rows of body bags at the scene of the plane tragedy

The tragedy came just hours after Tehran fired at least 15 ballistic missiles at two US bases in Iraq, sparking fears it could have been shot down by mistake by jittery Iranian air defences.

Iran blamed “technical problems” for the deadly fireball, and have locked down the crash site and refused to release the black boxes to international authorities.
But aviation experts have now suggested a “shootdown” was the most likely explanation for the disaster.
The OPS group, an aviation risk monitoring group, said: “We would recommend the starting assumption to be that this was a shootdown event, similar to MH17 – until there is clear evidence to the contrary.”

They highlighted pictures of the crash site which they said “show obvious projectile holes in the fuselage and a wing section”.

Aviation expert Julian Bray told Sun Online: “This is catastrophic and not the type of crash that comes from an engine failing. There would have been nothing that anyone could do.
“It is very unusual, you would expect to see some wreckage but all we can see here is debris.”
But he added that it was too early to say for sure what caused the crash, with other experts agreeing.

  • Ukraine has now dropped its initial “engine failure” reference after it is revealed pilots did not make any kind of mayday call from the 2016-built plane.
  • Ukraine banned flights through Iranian airspace in response.
  • Ukraine President has instructed prosecutors to open criminal proceedings on the crash.
  • Iran has refused to give the plane’s black boxes to Boeing, but says both have been found.
  • Iran’s civil aviation authority is investigating.


The plane’s black box flight recorders have since been found, with one Iranian official saying they were damaged but their data could still be retrieved.
However, Iran is refusing to hand them over to international authorities, Reuters reports.
Iranian media said the Boeing 737 came down after “technical problems” and quoted an aviation chief who said no emergency had been declared.
Qassem Biniaz, a spokesman for Iran’s Road and Transportation authority, claimed one of its engines caught fire, causing the pilot to lose control.


And jet engine maker CFM slammed claims the crash was caused by engine failure, saying it was too early to speculate on what was behind the tragedy.
Ukraine’s Tehran embassy initially blamed engine failure but later removed the statement, saying it could not officially comment on the cause until after a probe.

It also abruptly removed a line from its statement excluding a terrorist attack or missile strike.
Horrifying footage posted online shows the plane engulfed in flames as it went down.
The single-aisle, twin-engine jetliner had 167 passengers and nine crew members on board.
Among them were 63 Canadians, 10 Swedes, three Germans and three Brits, Ukraine’s foreign minister Vadym Prystaiko confirmed.
There were also 82 Iranians, 11 Ukrainians and four Afghans aboard, he added.

  The plane crashed shortly after take-off at Tehran Airport
 The plane crashed shortly after take-off at Tehran Airport

 Footage appears to show the jet in flames before hitting the ground
 Footage appears to show the jet in flames before hitting the ground

 The plane was filmed hitting the ground in a ball of flames

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