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Iran Official Says 29 Dead in Plane Crash

The head of Iran's civil aviation authority says 29 people were killed and several others injured in a plane crash in the northeastern city of Mashhad.

Speaking to Iranian state television, Nourollah Rezai Niaraki rejected earlier reports that as many 80 people died in the crash Friday. He said the plane carrying 148 passengers skidded off the runway during landing and crashed, sparking a fire.

Television reports showed fire crews dousing the plane, as smoke rose from a hole in the center of the fuselage.

The Russian-made Tupolev airliner from Iran Airtour was arriving in Mashhad from the southern city of Bandar Abbas.

The incident is the latest crash involving Iran's aging fleet of aircraft. A military jet went down in January, killing 11 people. And a cargo plane crashed into a Tehran building in December, killing 115 people.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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