Scores killed in IranAir passenger plane crash

Still from TV footage showing the crash scene The plane came down near the city of Orumiyeh

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An Iranian passenger plane with more than 100 people on board has crashed in north-western Iran, killing at least 77, state media report.

The IranAir Boeing 727 was flying from Tehran when it came down and broke into pieces near the city of Orumiyeh.

At least 26 people were injured, some critically. Reports said darkness and snow hampered rescue efforts.

Initial reports had said that 50 people survived the crash.

Old planes

The plane was due to land in Orumiyeh, 700km (430 miles) north-west of Tehran.

It crashed near the city at around 1945 local time (1615 GMT), according to another local official quoted on Iranian state television's website.

Map

The official said the plane had taken off an hour later than scheduled, and came down because of bad weather conditions.

A official for the Iranian Red Crescent, Mahmoud Mozaffar, said the plane had broken into several pieces, but there was no explosion or fire.

The head of Iran's emergency services, Gholam Reza Masoumi, told Fars that rescue work was being made more difficult by heavy snow, which was around 70cm (27 inches) deep around the crash site.

There have been a number of accidents involving Iranian planes over the past few years.

The last major crash was in July 2009, when a plane caught fire mid-air and crashed in northern Iran, killing 168 people.

In 2003 an Iranian troop carrier crashed in the south-east, killing all 276 soldiers and crew on board.

Iran's civil fleet is made up of planes in poor condition due to their old age and lack of maintenance.

The country has been under international sanctions for years, preventing it from buying new aircraft or spare parts from the West.

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