(Please note, this matter is not currently being litigated in Australia)On Sunday 10 August at around 9:18am Iran local time, a plane crashed moments after taking off from Mehrabad Airport in the country’s capital leaving 39 people dead and others injured.
It is reported that the Antonov An-140 turboprop plane suffered an engine failure which caused the plane to plummet into a neighbourhood just west of central Tehran. The aircraft was carrying 40 passengers and eight crew members at the time of the accident including two infants and three children under the age of 12.
Onlookers said the plane crashed into trees and hit a wall before becoming engulfed in flames. Witnesses described the scene as horrific, with the tail end of the plane laying detached from the aircraft in the middle of the street and black smoke billowing from the wreckage.
The Azadi neighbourhood is home to many military families and at the time of the crash, markets were operating some 500 metres away. Luckily there was no casualties on the ground.
The Iranian aviation sector has suffered repeated crashes, with Iranian politicians blaming the cause of the accidents on international sanctions that restrict Iranian carriers from buying new aircraft. The sanctions relate to Iran’s nuclear program and prevent Iran from updating its US aircraft, forcing airlines in Iran to refurbish their aircraft with parts often imported on the black market or reproduced locally in an effort to keep them operational. Aging aircraft coupled with poor maintenance has been the cause of many Iran air disasters, the last major crash happening in 2003 when an Iran Air Boeing 727 broke into pieces on impact while attempting an emergency landing, killing 77 people on board.
Iranian media have reported that Iran’s four largest air carriers, Iran Air, Iran Aseman Airlines, Mahan Air and Iran Air Tours all have average fleet ages above 22 years old.
Following the crash, Boeing and General Electric are reportedly seeking to export parts to Iran for sanctions relief.
Iranian Civil Aviation Chief, Ali Reza Jahanagirian confirmed that one of the plane’s engines did “go out” but said a full investigation would be made into the crash and data from the black boxes analysed to determine its cause.
Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: August 27, 2014.