By: Joy Odor
Sixty-six people are feared to have been killed in a plane crash in southern Iran.
The flight was reportedly carrying 60 passengers, including one child, and six crew members when it crashed into the side of Mount Dena near the remote town of Semirom, around 390 miles south of the capital, Tehran.
The ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop used for short-distance regional flying, was on its way to the city of Yasuj in the country’s south.
Due to foggy conditions, rescue helicopters couldn’t reach the crash site in the Zagros Mountains, state TV reported.
The Iranian Red Crescent has been deployed to the area, but nobody has yet found the crash site, officials say.
The carrier, Aseman Airlines, is a semi-private firm headquartered in Tehran that specializes in flights to remote airfields across the country. It also flies internationally.
The carrier has a fleet of 29 aircraft, including six aircraft from the Franco-Italian manufacturer ATR, according to FlightRadar24, a plane-tracking website. It is Iran’s third-largest airline by fleet size, behind state carrier Iran Air and Mahan Air.
Under decades of international sanctions, Iran’s commercial passenger aircraft fleet has aged, with air accidents occurring regularly in recent years.
Following the 2015 landmark nuclear deal with world powers, Iran signed deals with both Airbus and Boeing to buy scores of passenger planes.