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Relatives Say Doomed Iranian Plane Ordered to Fly Despite Safety Complaints


Relatives of more than 100 Iranians killed in the crash of a military plane say officials ordered the transport to fly Tuesday despite repeated warnings from the pilot that the aircraft was unsafe.

The Hamshahri newspaper quotes the wife of one of the victims as saying her husband told her by cell phone that the C-130 aircraft sat on a runway in Tehran for three hours Tuesday because the pilot refused to fly.

An official of another newspaper, Shargh told VOA's Persian service he was told by a staffer aboard the doomed plane that passengers were waiting on a runway for a replacement pilot.

The army is denying the accusations, and Iran's top prosecutor appointed a special judge to probe the crash.

The plane carrying Iranian journalists crashed into a 10-story apartment building minutes after take-off Tuesday afternoon, killing all 94 people on board and at least 22 others on the ground.