Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged all citizens to remain calm as officials race to produce a list of those aboard the crashed airline in Iran.
Ukraine International Airlines’ flight 752 crashed shortly after take off from Imam Khomeini International Airport, Tehran, on Wednesday morning, Tehran, killing all 176 passengers and crew members onboard, according to Iranian Red Crescent. Initial reports said 180 passengers and crew members were aboard.
The flight took off at about 6:12 a.m. local time, crashing within minutes afterwards. Iran’s ISNA news agency circulated a video on Twitter which showed a glow of an aircraft light flickering for a few seconds before a massive explosion.
In a Facebook post shortly after the crash, Mr Zelensky confirmed all passengers and crew members were killed. He condoled with the families of victims and said foreign ministry officials have been directed to establish the circumstances that led to the crash.
In additional updates on his Facebook page, the president said a commission had been raised to investigate the crash alongside Iranian authorities and civil aviation experts.
The crash occurred hours after Iran fired missiles at Iraqi military bases sheltering American soldiers, although initial reports already blamed “technical difficulties” for the crash.
Mr Zelensky urged the public to be patient and refrain from circulating unconfirmed causes of the crash.
I really ask everyone to refrain from speculating unverified versions of the disaster, the president said.
Officials from the Iranian Red Crescent said medical experts arrived at the scene of the crash in multiple helicopters on Wednesday morning to evacuate remains of victims.
They urged people to stay away from the scene to avoid compromising material that may be useful to air crash investigators.
The Red Crescent also said the crash did not affect homes, even though it occurred in a field near a residential area.