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Page last updated at 17:45 GMT, Friday, 24 July 2009 18:45 UK

Iran plane fire kills at least 17

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The aftermath of the fire

A passenger plane has burst into flames on landing at an airport in northern Iran, killing at least 17 passengers, state media has reported.

The burning plane skidded off the runway of the airport in the city of Mashhad, said the IRNA news agency.

At least another 19 people were injured in the incident and the remaining passengers were evacuated.

The crash comes 10 days after another plane crash in northern Iran, in which 168 people died.

Map

The Aria Airlines plane involved in Friday's blaze had flown from Tehran to Mashhad with 153 people on board.

It was reported to be a Russian-built Ilyushin aircraft.

"All the dead and injured people and passengers have been evacuated and the fire has been completely controlled," said provincial official Ghahraman Rashid.

Mr Rashid said 17 people had been killed and 21 injured, but state TV later reported the lower figures.

Footage shown on Iran's Press TV showed the aircraft surrounded by emergency vehicles with the cockpit almost entirely destroyed.

The cause of the crash is not yet known but state media quoted an airport official as saying there had been "a technical glitch".

Iran has a notoriously bad air safety record.

Sanctions imposed on the country by the US mean both public and private airlines rely on ageing fleets and have trouble sourcing replacement parts, says the BBC's Jon Leyne.

On 15 July, all 168 passengers and crew on board a Caspian Airlines Tupolev Tu-154 plane died in a crash in Qazvin province, about 75 miles (120km) north-west of Tehran.

That incident was the third deadly crash of a Tupolev Tu-154 in Iran since 2002.


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