Plane catches fire at Tehran airport; 100 passengers evacuated unhurt

An airliner caught fire on landing at Tehran's Mehrabad airport on Tuesday but all 100 passengers were evacuated without injury, the head of Iran's emergency department said on state television. (Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons/Shahram Sharifi)
Updated 20 March 2019

Plane catches fire at Tehran airport; 100 passengers evacuated unhurt

  • Plane landed on its body after wheels failed to open — Fars news site
  • Iran Air Fokker was flying from Gulf island

GENEVA, Switzerland: An airliner caught fire on landing at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport on Tuesday but all 100 passengers were evacuated without injury, the head of Iran’s emergency department said on state television.
A video posted by the Islamic Republic News Agency showed flames and sparks shooting out from the back of the plane at the moment of landing.
The fire broke out after the aircraft’s landing gear did not open properly, and was later brought under control, emergency department head Pir-Hossein Kolivand said.
The pilot was unable to open the back wheels of the plane and circled the airport attempting to open all the wheels before landing the plane on its body, according to Fars news agency.
The plane was a Fokker 100 belonging to Iran Air, Fars reported. Other agency reports said it was flying from an Iranian island in the Gulf to the capital.
IRIB news agency quoted Reza Jafarzadeh, the head of public relations at Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization as saying the plane had 24 passengers and nine crew. It did not give any explanation for the discrepancy in the figures.
Iran has suffered a string of plane and helicopter crashes over the past few decades. Tehran says US sanctions have long prevented it from buying new aircraft or spare parts from the West to modernize its fleet.


US reaches ceasefire deal with Turkey in northern Syria

Updated 19 min 7 sec ago

US reaches ceasefire deal with Turkey in northern Syria

ANKARA: Turkey has agreed to completely end military operations in northern Syria after Kurdish fighters withdraw from a safe zone, US Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday.
Turkey's operation "will be halted entirely on completion" of the pullout, Pence told reporters after talks in Ankara.
"Great news out of Turkey," Donald Trump tweeted, shortly before Pence announced in Ankara that Turkey had agreed to end its military operation once Kurdish fighters withdraw from a safe zone.
"Millions of lives will be saved!" Trump wrote.


Trump's chief of staff had earlier said the president may revoke a White House invitation extended to Erdogan, depending on the outcome of the talks in Ankara.
"It's still on the schedule," Mike Mulvaney told reporters, "but I think that's one of those wait and see things."
"The president's been very clear about what he wants to see out of President Erdogan," he added.