UPDATE: Ukrainian airplane carrying 176 people crashes near capital of Iran

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A rescue worker searches the scene where an Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. A Ukrainian airplane carrying 176 people crashed on Wednesday shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s main airport, killing all onboard. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

SHAHEDSHAHR, Iran (AP) – (UPDATE: 3:04 P.M.): A Ukrainian airliner carrying 176 people crashed on the outskirts of Tehran during a takeoff attempt Wednesday hours after Iran launched its missile attack on U.S. forces, scattering flaming debris and passengers’ belongings across farmland and killing everyone on board.

The Iranian military disputed any suggestion the plane had been blown out of the sky by a missile, and Iranian aviation authorities said they suspected a mechanical problem brought down the Boeing 737. Ukrainian officials initially agreed but later backed away and declined to offer a cause while the investigation is going on.

The Ukraine International Airlines jet was en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv with 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, at least 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians, according to officials.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy cut short a visit to Oman to return to Kyiv and said a team of Ukrainian experts would go to Tehran to help investigate the crash.

TEHRAN, Iran (WLNS) – UPDATE (10:52 PM): A Boeing 737 plane carrying 180 passengers and crew crashed shortly after takeoff from Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran early Wednesday local time, Iran’s semi-official news agency Iranian Student News Agency reported.

The Ukranian Airlines plane crashed due to technical difficulties, according to ISNA.

ORIGINAL STORY: Iranian state TV is reporting a Ukrainian airplane carrying nearly 180 passengers and crew has crashed near an airport in the capital, Tehran.

There is no immediate word on injures, according to the Associated Press.

The state TV report says the crash Wednesday morning is suspected to have been caused by mechanical issues.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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