Plane crashes in southern Iran, killing all 66 people on board

An Iranian commercial aircraft has crashed in southern Iran, killing all 66 people on board, Iran’s Aseman Airlines spokesman has told state TV.

The ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop used for short-distance regional flying, went down near the remote mountain town of Semirom, some 620 kilometres south of the capital, Tehran, the semi-official Fars news agency said.

Fars said the plane was flying from Tehran to the southern Iranian city of Yasuj, some 780 kilometres south of the Iranian capital.

Authorities said the plane was flown by Aseman Airlines, a semi-private air carrier headquartered in Tehran that specialises in flights to remote airfields across the country.

It also flies internationally.

The Iranian Red Crescent said it has deployed to the area, which was quite foggy at the time of the crash.

Authorities said they would be investigating.

Under decades of international sanctions, Iran’s commercial passenger aircraft fleet has aged, with air accidents occurring regularly in recent years.

Following the 2015 landmark nuclear deal with world powers, Iran signed deals with both Airbus and Boeing to buy scores of passenger planes.