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Iran Plane Crash Kills at Least 100


At least 119 people were killed when an Iranian military jet crashed into an apartment building in Tehran. State radio said all 94 passengers and crew were killed, plus at least 25 people on the ground, with another 90 injured.

The C-130 military transport plane slammed into the 10-story apartment building not far from the Mehrabad airport. Television footage from the scene showed flames leaping from the building and black smoke billowing into the air. The wreckage was scattered for some distance throughout the residential neighborhood.

The state-run news agency says more than 40 local journalists were on the plane, on their way to cover a military exercise in southern Iran.

An Iranian police official said the cause of the crash was not clear.

He appealed to residents to stay away from the crash scene so crowds of onlookers would not impede rescue operations.

Reports from Tehran say the jet had taken off from the airport heading for the southern port city of Bandar Abbas, but it turned around after experiencing a mechanical problem. It was attempting to land at the airport when it crashed into the apartment building, in a neighborhood mainly inhabited by military officers and their families.

Iran has a poor air safety record. International sanctions have made it hard for the country to get spare parts or new planes. Most of the air crashes in Iran involve Russian or Soviet aircraft, but the C-130 that crashed is American-made and is believed to have been bought before 1979, when relations between Tehran and Washington were severed following the Iranian Revolution.

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