The Ukrainian Boeing 737 plane that crashed over Iran was only 3 years old and underwent maintenance checks 2 days ago

Plane crash aftermath Ukraine Airlines

Rouhollah VAHDATI / ISNA / AFP via Getty

People stand near the wreckage after a Ukraine International Airlines plane crashed in Iran on Wednesday.

  • A passenger plane flying from Iran to Ukraine crashed shortly after take-off Wednesday morning local time, killing all 176 people on board.
  • The Boeing 737-800 NG flight had been flown by Ukraine International Airlines.
  • Ukraine International Airlines said in a Wednesday statement that the aircraft had been built in 2016, delivered as new from Boeing, and completed maintenance checks two days ago.
  • Iranian authorities have blamed a technical failure, while Ukraine has opened criminal proceedings into the disaster.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Ukrainian plane that crashed in Iran had been just three years old and checked for maintenance just two days, the airline said.

The Boeing 737-800 NG passenger jet, flown by Ukraine International Airlines, burst into flames shortly after take-off from Iran around 6 a.m. local time Wednesday.

Flight PS 752 had been heading from Tehran International Airport to Kiev. All 167 passengers and nine crew members are dead. The victims included 82 Iranian citizens and 63 Canadians, as well as citizens of Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan, Germany, and the UK.

Debris and engine parts were strewn across six miles of the crash site, with a fire "so heavy" that 22 ambulances, four bus ambulances, and a helicopter could not "do any rescue," said head of Iran's emergency services Pirhossein Koulivand, according to Reuters.

Ukraine Airlines rescue efforts in Iran .JPG

Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

Rescuers check the debris from the crash.

Ukraine International Airlines said in a Wednesday statement that the aircraft had been built in 2016 and delivered as-new directly to the airline from Boeing.

It added that the last scheduled maintenance of the jet took place on January 6, 2020 - two days before the disaster.

An official from Iran's Roads & Urban Development Ministry also blamed the crash on a "fire in a part of the engine and the pilot's unsuccessful effort to control the plane," according to BBC Monitoring.

"Had the accident happened due to a missile strike, the plane would have exploded in the air," the ministry added.

Both Ukrainian and Iranian authorities have confirmed that the crash was caused by unspecified technical problems, and dispelled the idea of it being a terrorist attack.

The Ukrainian Embassy in Tehran also called the crash an accident, but did not specify a cause. According to The Independent, it deleted an earlier statement citing an engine failure.

Rescue efforts Ukraine Airlines crash .JPG

Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

The plane burst into flames shortly after take-off.

Iran's state broadcaster IRIB said that one of the plane's black boxes - which record flight data and audio from the cockpit - had been found.

Ukraine has opened criminal proceedings into the crash, Sky News reported. Ukraine International Airlines added that it will suspend flights to Tehran indefinitely in light of the disaster, according to the British broadcaster.

The Boeing 737-800 NG crash comes as the plane manufacturer faces heavy scrutiny over the safety of its planes. In October 2018 and March 2019, two brand-new Boeing 737 Max jets crashed shortly after takeoff, killing a total of 346 people on board the two planes.

Boeing tweeted on Wednesday morning that it was "aware of the media reports" and is "gathering more information."

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