A passenger plane belonging to Iran’s private airline, Taban Air, has been forced to make an emergency landing in Mashhad, northeast of the country.
Taban Air 6259 was on a scheduled commercial passenger flight from Iran’s second largest city, Mashhad, to Kish Island in the Persian Gulf on August 7.
The pilot radioed the air traffic controllers at Mashhad’s Shahid Hashemi Nejad Airport that he had experienced a technical glitch and declared an emergency roughly 40 minutes into the flight. The airplane had initially taken off the runway with a delay of about half an hour.
The late Friday night incident is the latest to have befallen the Iranian aviation industry. At least 17 were killed — among them three Russians — and 30 others injured when a Russian-designed Ilyushin 62 passenger jet with 160 people on board skidded off the runway during an emergency landing in Mashhad on July 24, 2009.
The plane’s tires reportedly caught fire on landing and the aircraft struck a wall at the airport. The cockpit and the front part of the fuselage were completely destroyed.
The airline mishap came less than 10 days after the crash of a Caspian Airlines Tupolev jet that left 168 people aboard killed. The Tu-154M plane had taken off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on the morning of Wednesday July 15 and was heading to the Armenian capital city of Yerevan. The plane went down and was blasted to bits at 11:30 a.m. local time (0800 GMT) only 16 minutes after takeoff.
The Tupolev jet was carrying 153 passengers and 15 crewmembers. Most of the victims were from Iran’s large ethnic Armenian community. Eleven members of the country’s national youth judo team also died in the tragic event.