Plane crashes in Iran

14:09, 15 July 2009
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168 believed killed...

A plane crashed Wednesday in northwestern Iran, state television reported. All 168 aboard were believed to be dead, according to CNN.

 The passenger plane is thought to have crashed near the Iranian city of Qazvin, Iranian Press TV reported.

The Russian-made Tupolev plane went down near Jannat-abad village near Qazvin at 11:33 am on Wednesday, the station reported.

All on board are "most probably" dead, the news station said, quoting Qazvin Police Chief Hossein Behzadpour.

Qazvin is the largest city in the province of Qazvin and is its capital, with an estimated population of 330,000.

It is about 140 kilometers (90 miles) northwest of the capital, Tehran.

 The Iranian newspaper Hamshahri reported that the plane originated from Tehran and was headed to Yerevan, Armenia.

The plane was from Caspian Air and crashed 16 minutes after takeoff, said the newspaper, quoting a spokesman from Iran`s civil aviation organization.

The flight number was 7908, the paper said, citing the spokesman.

 Footage of the scene of the crash site showed a huge crater in the earth scattered with pieces of the plane and tattered passports.

The last plane crash in Iran involving a Tupolev plane occurred in 2006, according to the Web site

That crash occurred in Iran Air Tour flight from the port city Bandar Abbas and crashed and caught fire in landing , the Web site reported.

Twenty-nine of the 147 people on board died in that crash.

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