By Keefa Nuwahereza
At least 176 people, among them Americans and British citizens have perished after a Ukrainian plane crashed a few hours after takeoff in Tehran, Iran.
It is not yet known what could have caused the crash and the Ukraine Prime Minister has said during a press conference in Kiev that it is too early to comment on the cause of the crash of flight PS752, which occurred on Wednesday.
“Any versions before the official conclusion is just manipulation,” premier Oleksiy Honcharuk said in response to a question about speculation that a rocket strike caused the crash.He said Ukraine had asked to join an Iranian-led investigation into the crash.
The Kiev-bound Boeing 737 was last spotted on radar at 7,925 feet (2,415.54 meters), according to FlightRadar 24.
The flight-tracking service said in a tweet that the jet had been in service for about three and a half years. Data from FlightRadar 24 suggests that the crash could have happened as quickly as two minutes after takeoff.
The UK Foreign Office said it is “urgently seeking confirmation about how many British nationals were on board,” following a statement from Ukraine International Airlines saying that three British nationals were among the dead in Wednesday’s plane crash.
In a statement, a Foreign Office spokesperson said:
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life in the plane crash in Iran overnight. We are urgently seeking confirmation about how many British nationals were on board and will do all we can to support any families affected.”
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, sent her “deepest condolences to all who lost their beloved ones,” in a Wednesday statement.
“At this moment it is for the aviation security experts to investigate the cause of the crash providing answers to this horrible tragedy,” she added.
Boyko Borissov, Bulgarian Prme Minister, said he empathized “with the pain and suffering of the loved ones of the casualties,” in a Twitter post.
The mysterious crash however comes a few days after Iran warned that it would revenge against America for the bombing of Gen. Qassem Soleimanni, who was killed after a drone airstrike in Iraq last week.
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