At least 119 dead as aircraft crashes into Tehran residential area
Plane crashed while trying to make an emergency landing at Tehran's main international Mehrabad airport.
TEHRAN - An Iranian military transport plane crashed into a 10-story apartment building in the suburbs of the capital Tehran on Tuesday, killing at least 119 people, according to state media and the city's mayor.
All 94 passengers and crew of the plane were killed, the mayor of Tehran, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, told The Associated Press.
Tehran state radio said that of the building's residents, 25 people were killed and 90 were injured. State television said all the injured had been admitted to hospital, where some were in critical condition.
Fire-fighters managed to extinguish the fire in the building, which was damaged and charred. Police cordoned off the vicinity as the plane's wreckage was scattered around.
"It was like an earthquake," said local merchant Reza Sadeqi, 25, who saw the plane hit the building. "The force of the crash threw me about 3 meters inside my shop.
"I felt the heat of the fire caused by the crash. It was like being in hell," Sadeqi said.
The C-130 aircraft hit the building while coming in to land at Tehran's Mehrabad airport, state television reported. The building is in the Towhid residential complex, a series of high-rise apartment buildings for army personnel.
Thousands of people quickly gathered at the crash site. Many were screaming out of fear that their relatives had been killed.
The plane, which belonged to the Army's air force, was carrying 84 passengers and 10 crew, the television reported. The official Islamic Republic News Agency said the passengers were journalists who were going to cover a military maneuver in southern Iran.
It had taken off from Mehrabad airport and was heading to Bandar Abbas, a port city in southern Iran.
The plane crashed due to a technical failure as it was trying to make an emergency landing, the television said.