At least 15 people have been killed after a military cargo plane crashed in Iran amid severe weather.
A flight engineer survived and was taken to hospital, the army said in a statement carried by the semi-official Fars news agency.
Reports said a fire engulfed the Boeing 707 immediately after it skidded off a runway and crashed into a wall separating the air field from a residential neighborhood in the town of Safadasht.
State-run media showed the burned-out tail of the plane surrounded by charred homes.The plane came down at Fath Airport when it was meant to land at the nearby Payam International Airport, around 40km (25 miles) west of Tehran.
“A Boeing cargo 707 place carrying meat from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan had an emergency landing at Fath airport today … the flight engineer has been dispatched to the hospital,” the army said.
“It exited the runway during the landing and caught fire after hitting the wall at the end of the runway.”Authorities have yet to explain the reason for the crew’s decision to land there, though they said the crew had declared an emergency prior to land.
Fars said the plane crash-landed after “mistaking the airport with another airfield because of the bad weather”.Seven bodies from the crash have been recovered, Iranian media reported.
The plane was carrying a cargo of meat from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital, to Iran.Iran’s air force said in a statement that the fate of the crew, including their possible “martyrdom”, is under investigation. Iranians often use the word “martyrdom” for those who die in war or national service, suggesting the aircraft may have belonged to the air force. The air force does operate Boeing 707s.