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Black boxes found from ill-fated Iranian jet

[ 2009-07-17 10:43]     字号 [] [] []  
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Two badly damaged black box recorders have been recovered from a Tupolev aircraft that crashed in Iran on Wednesday. All 168 people on board were killed, official media reported yesterday.

The cause of the worst air disaster in Iran for six years was still unknown, state television said.

Deputy Transport Minister Ahmad Majidi, who is leading the probe into the incident, said it was "likely due to technical problems" as the pilot was experienced, the semi-official Mehr News Agency reported.

The aircraft was on its way to neighboring Armenia's capital Yerevan when it came down after catching fire in mid-air and ploughing into farmland 16 minutes after departing Teheran.

The Russian-built Caspian Airlines plane exploded on impact and left only scattered bits of incinerated metal and fragments of the bodies of 153 passengers and 15 crew. The wreckage was strewn across a wide area around a deep smoking crater in the ground.

"Because of the severity of the crash, the two black box recorders found are badly damaged, even though they are made of steel," Majidi told Mehr.

"The tapes were out on the ground. We might send the black box to the country where it was manufactured (Russia) to chase the issue with their help," he said.

Majidi said DNA testing would be needed to identify the remains. Most of those onboard were Iranians, but there were also Armenian and Georgian citizens. Eight members of Iran's national junior judo team and two coaches were among the dead.

About 40 relatives and friends of the victims planned to fly from Yerevan to Teheran yesterday, Caspian Airline official Arlen Davudyan said at Yerevan Airport. Most of them were dressed in black.

Reza Jafarzadeh, a spokesman for Iran's aviation organization, said five specialists from Russia would arrive in Teheran today to help with the investigation.

An Iranian insurance company said it would pay 42,000 euros ($58,800) for each victim, state radio reported.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Black boxes found from ill-fated Iranian jet

About the broadcaster:

Black boxes found from ill-fated Iranian jet

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.