Bodies of 45 plane crash victims found in Iran

Bodies of 45 plane crash victims found in Iran

Bodies of 45 plane crash victims found in Iran

On Tuesday, the Isfahan province emergency centre said that a mobile phone of one of the passengers had transmitted signals from a location near Mount Dena where helicopters did not manage to reach due to bad weather, Press TV reported.

Following the deadly plane crash that claimed the life of all the 66 people on board, on Sunday in a mountainous region of southern Iran, King Mohammed VI sent a message of condolence and compassion to Iranian President Hassan Rohani on Tuesday.

State television aired footage showing the plane crash site against the side of a snow-covered mountain near Yasuj, some 780 kilometers (485 miles) south of Tehran, Iran's capital from which the Aseman Airlines flight took off on Sunday.

Iran's Army Spokesman General Shahin Taqikhani said on Wednesday morning that adverse weather conditions on Wednesday morning has made it impossible for the helicopters to continue aerial operation for transferring bodies of victims of the doomed ATR plane that crashed into snow-capped mountain peaks on February 18.

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Around 100 mountaineers have been making their way up the mountain since Monday and teams were being choppered to near the crash site.

After a long wait to locate the plane, families would have to endure further delays until the bodies of their loved ones were returned as helicopters were unable to land in the hostile terrain and the work would have to be carried out on foot, an emergency service official said.

Around 100 mountaineers have been searching for the crash site since Monday. "The rescue team have seen 30 bodies on the ground", an official from Iran's Red Crescent was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

"Given the special circumstances of the region, we still have no access to the spot of the crash and therefore we can not accurately and definitely confirm the death of all passengers of this plane", he said.

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Authorities hoped searchers would recover the aircraft's "black boxes" later Tuesday.

Iran has struggled to upgrade its aging aviation stock in the face of worldwide sanctions imposed to end its nuclear program.

Iran has suffered multiple aviation disasters, most recently in 2014 when 39 people were killed as a Sepahan Airlines plane crashed just after take-off from Tehran, narrowly avoiding many more deaths when it plummeted near a busy market.

Lifting sanctions on aviation purchases was a key clause in the nuclear deal that Iran signed with world powers in 2015.

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