Iran Teams Carry Plane Crash Dead Down From Mountain
Emergency teams on Wednesday began recovering bodies from a plane crash in Iran's Zagros mountains but the operation had to be suspended due to bad weather, officials said.
Aseman Airlines flight EP3704, carrying 66 people, disappeared from radar on Sunday morning around 45 minutes after taking off from Tehran on a domestic flight. No survivors have been found.
Search helicopters located the crash site after a break in the weather on Tuesday at a height of around 4,000 metres (13,000 feet) in the Dena range.
Helicopters were unable to land but officials said a recovery operation had begun on Wednesday, with emergency personnel carrying bodies on their backs to a road at the foot of the mountain.
The Iranian Red Crescent later said the operation had to be suspended as the bad weather returned, news agency ISNA reported.
It was unclear how many bodies had been recovered. One official reported seven bodies recovered but the Red Crescent said 32 "packages" had been brought down from the mountain and that these were not necessarily entire bodies.
A local rescue official told news agency ILNA that it should be possible to identify most of the remains.
The crash of the ATR-72 twin-engine plane, which had been in service since 1993, reawakened concerns over aviation safety in Iran, which has been exacerbated by international sanctions over the years.
Aseman Airlines was blacklisted by the European Commission in December 2016. It was one of only three airlines barred over safety concerns -- the other 190 being blacklisted due to broader concerns over oversight in their
By Eric Randolph in Tehran
Photo Credit: Morteza Salehi