|Aseman Airlines ATR-72|
BREAKING NEWS: Aseman Airlines ATR-72 passenger aircraft [EP-ATX] on a flightpath between Tehran and the southern city of Yasuj, crashes in Irans Zagros Mountains. All 66 people on board including a child have been killed.
The aircraft crashed in southern Isfahan, part of the Zagros mountain range near the city of Semirom.
The plane registration EP-ATX, and was on a routine flight from Tehran to Yasuj. Local weather conditions are reported as severe, initially preventing search and rescue helicopters and ground search teams from entering the area.
SUNDAY: Iran's President Hassan Rouhani expressed sympathy for all involved, saying, in a statement, that the incident brought "great grief and sorrow".
Iran has encountered a number of aviation incidents and accidents in recent years, in part due to international sanctions and difficulties over spare parts being imported, the sanctions imposed in an attempt to curb Iran's' nuclear programme - they were mostly lifted under a 2015 accord between Iran,USA and other countries; arguably the country also has an ageing aircraft fleet.
The crashed plane, a French-Italian-made ATR 72-500, was 25 years old, but that is not considered to b a major factor.
Aseman, is Irans third largest airline and recently signed a contract with Boeing to buy 30 of its latest medium-range 737s.
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has also expressed "deep sympathy" for relatives of those on board, saying the accident "saddened the hearts".
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