0710 GMT March 19, 2019
The ATR 72, a twin-engine turboprop operated by Aseman Airlines, crashed into snow-covered Mount Dena on Sunday near the town of Semirom in the central province of Isfahan, killing all 66 people on board, Press TV reported.
Helicopters managed to spot the plane’s debris three days later after weather conditions improved.
Rescue teams, backed by Army commandos, managed on Wednesday to transfer the first of the 32 bodies recovered from the site of the crash, around 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) up Mount Dena, to the ground.
However, Aziz Faily, an official at Kohkiloyeh and Boyerahmad Province, said Friday that rescue and search operations have been halted until Monday.
Currently, necessary coordination is being made with Iran’s Army, the Red Crescent and other relevant officials to resume rescue operations, he said.
Families of the victims of the flight have also taken DNA tests to identify the bodies, according to officials.
Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi said all efforts were directed towards finding the black box to find out what exactly caused the airliner to go down.
Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Public Relations Department said in a statement on Friday that it has stopped flights of all its ATR-72 aircraft until further notice, “in order to make sure about improvement of this type of aircraft’s safety”.