Cargo plane crashes in Iran; reports say at least 7 killed

TEHRAN, Iran — A Boeing 707 cargo plane coming from Kyrgyzstan crashed on Monday while trying to land west of Iran’s capital, state media reported, with local reports suggesting at least seven people were killed.

Fire immediately engulfed the aircraft after it skidded off a runway and crashed into a wall separating the air field from a residential neighborhood. Images carried by Iran’s state-run media showed the burned-out tail of the plane sticking out, surrounding by charred homes.

The plane crashed at Fath Airport when it was meant to land at the nearby Payam International Airport, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Tehran, the Iranian capital. Authorities did not immediately offer a reason for the crew’s mistake. Fath Airport belongs to Iran’s powerful paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

The plane was carrying a cargo of meat from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital, to Iran.

Iran’s air force said in a statement that the fate of the crew, including their possible “martyrdom,” is under investigation. It wasn’t immediately clear who owns the plane.

Iranians often use the word “martyrdom” for those who die in war or national service, suggesting the aircraft may have belonged to the air force. The Iranian air force does operate Boeing 707s; it also has a civilian airline, SAHA.

Authorities initially said they feared all on board had been killed, but reports afterward said one crew member was taken to a local hospital. Iranian media said the crew of the flight included anywhere from eight to 16 people, with seven bodies already recovered.

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