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15 dead after Iran military plane crashes at wrong airport

By Clyde Hughes
15 dead after Iran military plane crashes at wrong airport
Emergency personnel stand near the wreckage of a Boeing 707 cargo plane that crashed Monday while landing at Fath Airport near Karaj, Iran. Photo by Hassan Shiravani/EPA-EFE

Jan. 14 (UPI) -- An Iranian military plane crashed into a neighborhood in Alborz province Monday after it overshot a runway at the airport and killed nearly everyone on board, officials said.

The Boeing 707 was scheduled to arrive at Payam International Airport in Karaj but the pilot attempted to land at Fath Airport, 25 miles west of Tehran. Its runway is too short for large aircraft, Iranian state-owned Press TV reported.

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The cargo plane skidded off the runway and crashed into a wall separating the airfield from a residential neighborhood, officials said. Some vacant residential facilities were damaged.

Eight rescue teams, several ambulances and a helicopter were sent to the crash site.

Pirhossein Kolivand, head of Iran's emergency department, said remains for about half the 15 dead were recovered a short time later. Authorities said a flight engineer survived with critical injuries.

"A [Boeing] 707 cargo plane, which was carrying meat, took off from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan and had an emergency landing at Fath airport this morning," the Iranian Army said in a statement.

The plane's "black boxes" could give investigators key information about what brought the plane down. It was unclear Monday whether they had been found.

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The Boeing 707 is an older plane, first introduced in 1958. The last models were built in 1979.

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