Conspiracy theories anyone?
Authorities have found the “black boxes” of the Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed into Iranian farmland on Wednesday just minutes after taking off from the main airport in the country’s capital of Tehran.
The plane carried 167 passengers and nine crew members from different nations. There were no survivors.
The “black boxes,” or flight data recorder, stores cockpit conversations and other data instrumental to the investigation.
Ukrainian authorities have offered to help with the investigation and are preparing a group of specialists to help with search operations, according to the country’s Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk.
The crash came hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing U.S. soldiers, however, both Ukrainian and Iranian officials gave no indication the two events are related.
As investigations into the plane crash continue, here’s what we know so far:
Who was on board the Ukrainian plane?
Ukraine’s foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, said in a tweet that there were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians on board — the Ukrainian nationals included two passengers and the nine crew members. There were also 10 Swedish, four Afghan, three German and three British nationals, according to his tweet.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky extended his condolences to the victims’ families. His office said he was cutting his visit to Oman short and returning to Kyiv because of the crash.
How did the plane crash?
Qassem Biniaz, a spokesman for Iran’s Road and Transportation Ministry, said it appeared a fire struck one the plane’s engines. The pilot of the aircraft then lost control of the plane, sending it crashing into the ground, Biniaz said, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.
Hassan Razaeifar, the head of air crash investigation committee, said it appeared the pilot was unable to communicate with air-traffic controllers in Tehran in the last moments before the plane went down.
The plane, fully loaded with fuel for its 1,430-mile flight, slammed into farmland near the town of Shahedshahr on the outskirts of Tehran. Videos taken immediately after the crash show blazes lighting up the darkened fields before dawn.