News ID: 264572
Published: 0446 GMT January 19, 2020

Black box of Flight 752 still in Iran, civil aviation official says

Black box of Flight 752 still in Iran, civil aviation official says

The black box of a Ukrainian passenger plane that was mistakenly downed near the Iranian capital is still in Iran and no decision has been made yet to send it abroad, says the Civil Aviation Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran (CAO.IRI).

"We are trying to examine the black box of the crashed Ukrainian plane in Iran and our next options will be Ukraine and France. But no decision has been made so far to send the box to a second country," director general of the organization's investigation office, Hassan Rezaifar, told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Sunday.

With 167 passengers and nine crewmembers on board, Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 crashed outside Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport on January 8, moments after takeoff, Presstv Reported.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic said on January 11 that the plane had flown close to a sensitive military site and been brought down due to human error "at a time of crisis caused by US adventurism."

The head of the Aerospace Division of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, also explained that the air defense system had erroneously identified the aircraft as a hostile missile.

When the incident took place, Iran's air defense forces were put on the highest level of alert following missile attacks by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) against a US base in Iraq.

The strikes were in retaliation for the assassination by US terrorist forces of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the IRGC, in Baghdad.

Iran's Tasnim news agency on Saturday had quoted Rezaeifar as saying that Tehran will send the black box to Ukraine.

Iran's Foreign Ministry on Friday decried the "abuse" of Iran's accidental downing of the plane by some countries that pursue certain "political plots" against Tehran.

"We urge all sides to not abuse humanitarian issues - specifically this tragic incident - in a bid to make political gestures and pursue their political dreams," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.

Bodies of Ukrainian victims of plane crash back in Kiev

Bodies of eleven Ukrainian victims of the plane crash in Iran arrived in Ukraine on Sunday.

Around a thousand people, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, took part in the ceremony where Zelensky laid flowers on the flag-draped coffins of the 11 Ukrainian victims -- nine flight crew and two passengers – at Kiev's Boryspil airport and briefly spoke to their relatives, AFP reported.


The funerals are expected to be held on Monday.

"Deep condolences to the relatives and eternal memory to the victims," Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine's Security Council, said on Facebook.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko also said on Twitter that he was "deeply grateful for the messages of condolence and solidarity that we have received from around the world."

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