The moment Iran blew a jetliner out the sky after ‘mistaking it for a US bomber’: New video shows ‘missile’ hitting Ukrainian Airlines Boeing 737 before it crashed killing 176 – after Trump and Trudeau both said attack was a ‘mistake’
- Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 crashed outside of Tehran on Wednesday, killing all 176 on board
- Footage emerged on Thursday which appears to show a missile hitting the jet before it went down
- US intelligence are ‘confident’ the airliner was shot down by Iran after detecting two missile launches
- Pentagon officials said missiles likely fired in error by crews on alert for US response to Iran rocket strike
- Iran claims that the crash was the result of mechanical error and that black box may have been ‘damaged’
- President Trump said: ‘Somebody could have made a mistake. I have a feeling something terrible happened’
- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later echoed Trump’s concerns, saying that evidence indicates an Iranian missile downed the and that the strike ‘may have been unintentional’
- The plane was carrying 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, three Britons, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans and three Germans
New video appears to show a missile hitting the Ukrainian plane that crashed in Iran moments before it went down, killing all 176 people on board.
The footage emerged Thursday afternoon, hours after President Donald Trump revealed he has serious doubts the crash was caused by mechanical failure, as Iranian officials have claimed.
‘It was flying in a pretty rough neighborhood. Somebody could have made a mistake,’ Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday. ‘I have a feeling that something very terrible happened, very devastating.’
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later echoed Trump’s concerns, saying that evidence indicates an Iranian missile downed the and that the strike ‘may have been unintentional’.
Trudeau said Canadian and allied intelligence supports that conclusion. He declined to get into the specific intelligence, but said it appeared it was a surface-to-air missile that struck the plane.
‘The intelligence evidence suggests very clearly a possible and probable cause for the crash,’ Trudeau told a news conference.
US intelligence officials are ‘confident’ that Iran shot down the Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 after detecting a radar system being turned on before two missiles were launched, shortly before an explosion believed to have come from the jet, CBS reported.
Two Pentagon officials added that the missiles were likely launched in error by Iranian anti-aircraft crews awaiting a US response to Iran’s rocket strikes against American bases in Iraq hours earlier, according to Newsweek.
The plane, a Boeing 737-800 en route from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport to Kyiv’s Boryspil International Airport, encountered a problem moments after takeoff in the early hours of Wednesday.
The latest video appears to show a missile hitting the plane as it flew over Parand, the area where it stopped transmitting its signal before the crash.
A small explosion occurred when the missile struck but the plane did not explode. It continued flying for several minutes and turned back toward the airport while engulfed in flames before it exploded and crashed quickly.
If Iran is responsible for the incident, it would be hugely embarrassing for the nation which had sought to avoid killing anybody in Wednesday’s strikes. Eighty-two of the plane’s passengers were Iranians.
It could also spark fresh tensions in the Middle East just a day after Trump said Iran seemed to be ‘standing down’., as the plane was also carrying 63 Canadians, three Britons, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans and three Germans.
New video appears to show a missile hitting the Ukrainian plane that crashed in Iran moments before it went down. The footage emerged on Thursday afternoon, hours after Pentagon officials said they believe the Ukrainian Airlines flight which crashed in Tehran killing 176 people Wednesday was shot out of the sky by an Iranian anti-aircraft missile system
President Donald Trump on Thursday said he has serious doubts that the Ukrainian plane crash in Iran was caused by mechanical failure after Pentagon officials claimed that the jet was shot down
‘It was flying in a pretty rough neighborhood. Somebody could have made a mistake,’ Trump told reporters at the White House. ‘I have a feeling that something very terrible happened, very devastating’
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later echoed Trump’s concerns, saying that evidence indicates an Iranian missile downed the and that the strike ‘may have been unintentional’
US intelligence is ‘confident’ that Ukraine Airlines Flight 752 which crashed just outside Tehran on Wednesday morning was shot down by Iranian anti-aircraft batteries (pictured, missile wreckage reportedly found near the scene)
Questions were first raised when pictures of the plane debris appeared to show shrapnel holes in the fuselage. US officials now say they detected two missile launches just before an explosion, believed to have come from the jet
If true the news would be hugely embarrassing to Iran – which had 82 citizens on board the plane – and threaten to reignite tensions in the Middle East just a day after Trump said the regime was ‘standing down’
Members of the International Red Crescent collect bodies of victims around the wreckage after an Ukraine International Airlines jet crashed in Iran yesterday
Wreckage of the plane which investigators in Iran say was trying to turn back to the airport when it crashed as the result of a mechanical fault, killing 176 people
Witnesses said they heard ‘two very loud noises’ coming from Parandak garrison moments before the Ukrainian airline crashed in farmland just after take off from Imam Khomeini International Airport. A section of rocket was said to have been found in front of a home in the city of Parand
The US intelligence officials spoke out as Ukraine confirmed it is sending missile analysts to the site to investigate.
UK officials also confirmed they are looking into ‘very concerning’ reports that the airliner was shot down by a missile.
Iranian investigators have insisted that the crash was an ‘accident’, but have refused to hand over the black box recorded to international investigators.
Some Iranian reports have claimed the black boxes were damaged, and parts of the recordings lost.
The head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, Ali Abedzadeh, was quick to reject any suggestion that the plane was shot down as ‘scientifically impossible’, insisting that its missiles were not capable of reaching that altitude.
New footage captured the moment a burning Ukrainian passenger jet exploded into pieces yesterday – as Iran said the plane was trying to turn back after a technical fault but Ukraine sent missile specialists to inspect the wreckage.
The CCTV footage shows the burning jet plane lighting up a dark street as it approaches before it explodes in a huge fireball.
The explosion sends flaming debris from the Boeing 737 flying in all directions.
Iranian television broadcast the footage today, while a separate 28-second clip taken from the front seat of a car appeared to confirm that the plane was already ablaze when it dropped out of the sky from 8,000 feet.
New footage shows the moment a burning Ukrainian passenger jet exploded into pieces near Tehran early yesterday morning
Debris from the plane after it exploded in a fireball near Tehran yesterday morning
Footage taken from the front seat of a car purports to show the burning plane falling from the sky before it crashes in a fireball in a field near Tehran
An image from the flight tracker website Flightradar24 showing the path of the Ukranian International Airlines jet which crashed just over two minutes after taking off from Tehran
Iran says the plane had suffered a technical fault, caught fire and started to head back to Tehran, but the crew did not make a radio call to raise the alarm.
Nonetheless, Ukraine is continuing to probe a possible shoot-down and has sent a team of missile specialists to Iran to examine whether a Russian-made weapon could have brought down the plane.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday vowed to find the ‘truth’ as he declared a day of national mourning after the crash.
The crash came just hours after Iran fired missiles at US bases in revenge for the death of Qassem Soleimani, sparking fresh fears in the tense Middle East.
Witnesses on the ground and on board a nearby aircraft saw a fire ‘growing in intensity’ before the Ukrainian International Airlines jet came down, they say.
‘The plane, which was initially headed west to leave the airport zone, turned right following a problem and was headed back to the airport at the moment of the crash,’ the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization says.
‘The plane disappeared from radar screens the moment it reached 8,000 feet. The pilot sent no radio message about the unusual circumstances.
‘According to eyewitnesses, a fire was seen on board the plane which grew in intensity.’
Iranian investigators have not said what kind of technical fault, such as a mechanical failure or defective part, could have caused the plane to catch fire.
The agency said it had questioned witnesses on the ground and on board a second aircraft which was flying above the Boeing 737.
Issuing an initial report within 24 hours is rare and it can take months to fully determine the cause of an air disaster.
Last night a Canadian security source said Western intelligence agencies did not believe the plane was shot down, easing fears of a missile strike.
Security sources also say there was evidence that one of the engines has overheated.
A Ukraine International Airlines worker leaves flowers today at a memorial for the nine crew members who were killed in Wednesday’s plane disaster
Candles and flowers are left by the portraits of the crew members who were on board the stricken Boeing jet
Pilot Volodymyr Gaponenko (pictured) and his crew on board the Ukrainian International Airlines flight did not make a radio call to raise the alarm, investigators say
Mourners attend a vigil at University of Toronto student housing for the victims of a Ukrainian passenger jet which crashed in Iran. Sixty-three Canadians were killed
Despite the claims of technical failure, Ukraine is sending missile specialists to examine the wreckage of the Boeing jet.
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s Security Council, told Ukrainian media that a missile strike was one of the ‘main theories’ along with a collision, an engine explosion or terrorism.
A special commission of experts sent to Tehran includes specialists who found evidence that a Russian weapon had brought down MH17 over Ukraine in 2014.
The team of 45 experts want to examine whether a Russian-made Tor missile could have shot down the Ukrainian International Airlines plane on Wednesday.
The specialists are awaiting permission from Iranian authorities to examine the crash site and look for missile fragments, Danilov said.
They will also seek to identify the Ukrainian victims with a view to repatriating their remains.
Russia delivered 29 Tor-M1s to Iran in 2007 as part of a $700million dollar contract signed in December 2005, and Iran has displayed them in military parades.
Danilov also referred to images which circulated last night showing what appeared to be the charred remnants of a rocket.
The images were unverified and could be a hoax, but Danilov said the ‘information [which] has surfaced on the internet’ had bolstered the missile strike theory.
Video footage appeared to show the Ukrainian plane already ablaze as it fell from the sky before crashing
British consulting firm IHS Markit released a report Thursday morning which said the plane was ‘likely to have been shot down mistakenly’ by Iranian forces.
Calling the missile pictures ‘credible’, the group suggested that the revolutionary guards could have mistaken a civilian airliner for a US military aircraft.
They added: ‘Publicly available flight data for UIA Flight 752 is not consistent with the [Iranian] claim that the airliner was attempting to return to the airport.
‘The aircraft’s pilots made no distress call, and the flight data shows a normal ascent up to the point where it disappears suddenly at 8,000ft. This is consistent with a catastrophic incident on board the aircraft.’
A technical fault would heap further pressure on Boeing, which was thrown into crisis last year after two deadly crashes in five months killed 346 people.
The 737 was less than four years old and had been checked just two days earlier, with ‘one of our best crews’ manning the aircraft, the Ukrainian airline said.
Yesterday Boeing declared the air disaster a ‘tragic event’ and offered its ‘heartfelt thoughts’ to the 176 passengers and crew on board the plane.
‘We are ready to assist in any way needed,’ the airline said in a statement.
The doomed jet was a Boeing 737-800 – a very common single-aisle, twin-engine jetliner used for short to medium-range flights. Thousands of the planes are used by airlines around the world.
Introduced in the late 1990s, it is an older model than the Boeing 737 MAX, which has been grounded for nearly 10 months following the two deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
According to flight tracking data from FlightRadar24, the jet which crashed yesterday reached an altitude of 7,925ft before tracking suddenly ended after three minutes.
It slammed into farmland at Khalaj Abad, in Shahriar county, about 30 miles north-west of the airport, Iranian state media said.
A fleet of search and rescue workers at the crash site today after a Boeing 737 crashed near Tehran, sparking fresh alarm in the Middle East
A map showing the route of the brief flight and some of the clues to the cause of the crash which soon started to emerge
The plane had been delayed from taking off from Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran by almost an hour.
Video footage appeared to show the plane already burning before it fell out of the night sky, while the fuselage was peppered with holes at the crash site.
Authorities in Tehran are refusing to say if they will hand over the black box recorders on board the plane to outside investigators.
According to aviation experts, only a handful of countries are capable of analyzing black boxes – notably the United States, Britain, France and Germany.
However, Iran has indicated it will not hand the flight recorders to Boeing or the US, with which it has not had diplomatic relations for four decades.
French jet engine manufacturer CFM said any speculation about a technical failure was ‘premature’, while the Ukrainian embassy in Iran initially ruled out a missile strike but later backtracked.
The black boxes (pictured) from the Ukrainian airliner were found today but Iran says it will not hand them over to Boeing
Aviation experts were at odds as they struggled to explain the disaster, with some saying a shoot-down was unlikely while others said an MH17-style event should be the starting assumption.
‘The plane was in working order,’ company president Yevgeniy Dykhne told a briefing in Kiev where he choked back tears. ‘It was one of our best planes with a wonderful crew.’
UIA Vice President Igor Sosnovskiy likewise said chances of a crew error were ‘minimal’.
Dozens of people gathered in the departure hall at Boryspil airport outside Kiev to pay their respects to the crew, five men and four women.
A series of airlines have announced they will stop flying over Iranian airspace amid fears for Middle East security.
Just hours before the crash, the US Federal Aviation Administration had banned US airlines from flying over Iran, Iraq and the waters of the Persian Gulf due to the Middle East crisis.
Search-and-rescue teams yesterday combed through the smoking wreckage of the flight to Kiev, but officials said there was no hope of finding survivors.
Body bags were lined up on the ground, and the passengers’ personal items – including luggage, clothes, a Santa Claus doll and a boxing glove – were scattered in the debris.
The Ukrainian foreign ministry revealed there were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians and three Britons on flight PS752, along with 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans and four Germans.
The three British victims were later named as businessman Mohammad Reza Kadkhoda-Zadeh, 40, and engineers Saeed Tahmasebi Khademsadi, 35, and Sam Zokaei, 42.
Debris of a plane belonging to Ukraine International Airlines which had been checked just days before it crashed
People stand near the wreckage after a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran, sparking fresh alarm in the Middle East today
Canada is home to a large Iranian diaspora community and UIA offers discount flights between Tehran and Toronto, with a transit in Kiev.
Justin Trudeau later vowed to ‘ensure that this crash is thoroughly investigated, and that Canadians’ questions are answered’. The US promised ‘complete co-operation’ with the probe.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei offered his ‘sincere condolences’ to the bereaved families.
Aviation experts were divided in their assessments of the crash yesterday.
Stephen Wright, a professor of aircraft systems at Tampere University in Finland: ‘There is a lot of speculation at the moment it has been shot down – I think that is not going to be the case at all.
‘Planes fly the same routes day in, day out,’ he said. ‘You don’t tend to put… missiles next to international airways for obvious reasons.’
He added: ‘It could be a bomb or it could be some sort of catastrophic breakup of the aircraft.’
Against that, one aviation risk group said the first assumption should be that it was a ‘shootdown event’ like MH17 which was brought down by a suspected Russian missile over Ukraine in 2014.
Rescue workers in protective suits gather up the bodies of passengers who were killed in the Boeing 737 crash in Iran
A statement from OPS suggested there were ‘obvious projectile holes in the fuselage and a wing section’.
‘Whether that projectile was an engine part, or a missile fragment is still conjecture,’ the group said.
‘We would recommend the starting assumption to be that this was a shootdown event, similar to MH17 – until there is clear evidence to the contrary.’
Meanwhile, a former pilot and head of flight operations at Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority cast doubt on the theory that a mechanical failure was to blame for the crash.
Captain Mike Vivian told Sky News that the Ukrainian Airlines crash was a ‘puzzling accident’.
The Boeing aircraft was less than four years old and there was no sign of bad weather or pilot error, making it a ‘difficult accident to explain’, he said.
‘It is a puzzling accident because the normal culprits like weather, like maintenance, like old aircraft or like possibly crew training – I don’t believe they’re present in this case,’ he said.
‘Obviously in this case they’ll be trying to work out whether it broke up mid-air as indeed it appears to have done or whether it broke up when it hit the ground.
‘They’ll be looking for evidence of mechanical failure, although I find it difficult, troubling to suggest that engine failure may have caused this.
‘Even with a double engine failure, these aircraft are capable of gliding – not far, but they can glide – so I find it very difficult to understand that.’
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