Friday, July 24, 2009

Aria Air IL-62 accident at Mashhad, Iran

by B. N. Sullivan

Aria Air Flight IRX1525An aircraft accident at Mashhad, Iran has claimed the lives of more than a dozen people, including several crew members. The aircraft, an Ilyushin IL-62m operated by Iranian carrier Aria Air as Flight IRX1525, is said to have overrun a runway after performing an emergency landing at Masshad-Shahid Hashemi Nejad airport. The accident happened shortly after 18:00 local time on July 24, 2009. The flight had originated at Tehran-Mehrabad Airport.

AFP, quoting the Mehr news agency, reported that "the plane crashed through the airport's perimeter wall before hitting power lines and coming to a halt in adjacent farmland." The forward section of the fuselage -- including the cockpit -- was completely smashed, killing the flight deck crew and a number of people in the passenger cabin. News photos seem to indicate that the aircraft came to a rest on its main landing gear in a tail-down attitude.

The exact number of injuries and fatalities is not clear at this time. Iranian news web site PressTV reports "at least 16" fatalities and 21 injured among 160 on board, and mentioned that "[e]arlier reports had put the number of deaths at 30 and the number of injured at 20."

Other news agencies, quoting Iran's news agency IRNA, report slightly different numbers.

UPDATE July 26, 2009: Reuters is reporting that 13 of the 16 fatalities on Aria Air Flt IRX1525 were crew and the three others were passengers, adding that there were 153 on board the aircraft.
"Nine of the crew members killed in the incident were citizens of Kazakhstan and the remaining four were Iranians," Reza Jafarzadeh, the spokesman of Iran's aviation organisation told the official IRNA news agency on Saturday.
State television in Iran said the flying license of Aria Aviation Company had been suspended until an investigation into the plane crash was completed.

[Photo Source]