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TEHRAN, August 12, /ITAR-TASS/. Iran set up 12 independent expert committees to investigate Sunday’s passenger airplane crash near the country’s capital of Tehran, IRNA news agency reported.
The committees were set up upon an earlier order from Alireza Jahangirian, the head of the Civil Aviation Organization, and the decision to form them was made at a ministerial session on Monday.
An Antonov An-140 plane with about 50 people aboard, including seven children, took off from Tehran at 9:20 a.m. local time (4:50 GMT) on Sunday to the eastern city of Tabas.
The plane crashed several minutes after its flight five km (three miles) from the Iranian capital’s western outskirts, according to media reports.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered to suspend indefinitely all flights of this type of aircraft.
Eye-witnesses said the pilot lost control of the aircraft already at the last meters of the runway and the plane touched the surface. However, the pilot managed to take off and the plane flew for several minutes.
Nine passengers were reported to have survived the crash and were taken to nearby hospitals.
The airliner, which belonged to the local Sepahan Air airline, was presumably an Iranian-assembled plane, IrAn-140, the local media reported.
The Iranian company HESA has been assembling planes of this type since 2001, using parts supplied by Ukraine’s Antonov aircraft-building company.
Sepahan Air, which operates airliners of this type, had five such planes in its fleet as of today.
The Al Arabiya TV channel reported earlier that Iranian airliners had been exploited for an average of 22 years at least.