Iranian television is reporting the crash of a military Antonov An-74 at Tehran airport, killing 36 people.
Report say the aircraft was operated by the country's élite Iranian Revolutionary Guards corps (IRGC). Flight International's World Air Forces directory lists the country's military as operating seven of the types. It is understood that the IRGC operates three of these. The Islamic Republic News Agency is showing the register as 15-2255 (see picture below).
Police officials said 39 were killed and 30 of the dead were drawn from the Revolutionary Guards, with the six remaining being air force crew members.
Two members additional of the IRGC, have also been injured and have been transferred to hospital, it is understood. The IRGC forms the religious arm of the country's military. The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting company (IRIB
) says the An-74 crashed after take off. However eyewitnesses including an airport police office, have told Iran's student news agency
that an engine failure occured, causing the aircraft to veer off the runway, hit an obstacle and explode. The An-74 was en route to the city of Shiraz
in the south when it crashed at Tehran's Mehrabad airport.
The Revolutionary Guards corps has started its own investigation in addition to an official air accident investigation.
The crash comes a week after Iran's Greatest Prophet military excercises.
Iran has suffered a series of airviation safety disasters in recent years, with the crash of an Iran Air Tours-operated Tupoloev Tu-154M that crashed in Mashhad in September killing around 28 people; the crash of a Dassault Falcon 20 operated by the IRGC in January that killed 11; and the collision of an aircraft into an apartment block in december that killed around 120 people.