176 people died after a passenger plane crashed on Wednesday morning near Tehran, moments after takeoff, Iranian media confirmed.
The Ukrainian airliner was heading to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv when it crashed near Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport killing everyone on board.
Iranian media said an engine of the Boeing 737-800 jet caught fire during take-off, causing it to crash to the ground.
Although mechanical problems are believed to be a factor in the crash, a terrorist attack could not be ruled out following the rising tensions between Iran and the US.
The identities of the victims were not immediately established.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has sent his condolences to the families of the victims.