Plane catches fire at Tehran airport; 100 passengers evacuated unhurt - UPDATED

Plane catches fire at Tehran airport; 100 passengers evacuated unhurt - UPDATED
# 19 March 2019 23:56 (UTC +04:00)

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, ONA reports quoting Reuters.


Pir-Hossein Kolivand said the fire broke out after the aircraft’s landing gear did not open properly, and was later brought under control.


The airplane was a Fokker 100 belonging to Iran Air, the Fars news agency reported.



The pilot was not able 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.


The plane was flying from Qeshm island in the Gulf to Tehran, according to the IRIB news agency. A picture posted by IRIB showed a plane on a runway with white smoke streaming from the back.


IRIB 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 U.S. sanctions have long prevented it from buying new aircraft or spare parts from the West to modernize its fleet.


A plane caught fire at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport with approximately 50 passengers still aboard, the Fars news agency said in a Twitter post on Tuesday, citing the head of Tehran’s emergency department, ONA reports quoting Reuters.


Approximately 50 passengers had already been evacuated and emergency services were tackling the fire.