Iran resumes search for plane debris in mountains

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Tehran, Feb 19 (IANS) Relatives of 66 people who were on board a plane that crashed in central Iran are desperately waiting for any news as rescue teams began a second day of search for the wreckage.

The Aseman Airlines passenger plane was travelling from Tehran to the southwestern city of Yasuj when it came down in the Zagros mountains on Sunday.

Rescue teams resumed their operations on Monday and continued the search for the ill-fated plane, Fars news agency said.

Emergency workers said dense fog, high winds and heavy snow hampered search and rescue operations. A relative improvement in weather conditions on Monday allowed helicopters to fly over the extremely mountainous area which features some 100 peaks, Press TV reported.

Twenty six teams of mountain climbers were scouring valleys, slopes and ridges in the hope of finding the debris.

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The crashed plane was 25 years old, Iran’s civil aviation organisation said.

Sixty passengers, two security guards, two flight attendants, the pilot and co-pilot were on board.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani in a statement said the incident brought “great grief and sorrow”.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also expressed “deep sympathy” for the relatives of those on board, saying the accident “saddened the hearts”.

–IANS

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