A Sepahan Air Iran-140 plane bound for Tabas in northeast Iran crashed in a residential area after taking off from Tehran’s Mehrabad airport on Sunday morning, killing all 48 passengers and crew, Iranian state media reported. The plane was headed to the eastern city of Tabas, the IRNA and Fars news agencies said, when it crashed around 9.18 am (0448 GMT), after leaving Mehrabad airport.
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But it plummeted into the Azadi neighbourhood, just west of central Tehran, close to a residential area for military families. “All the passengers are dead,” a fire service spokesman said on IRNA. Iran’s deputy transport minister Ahmad Majidi said the Antonov An-140 turboprop plane was run by Sepahan Airlines and it had 40 passengers, including six children, and eight crew.

Most international flights take off from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, which is located further west of the Iranian capital.
Alireza Jahangirian, the head of Iran’s civil aviation authority, said: “The plane crashed in trees. There were no casualties on the ground.”

The Antonov An-140 is a small aircraft designed for regional use and with a range of around 2,400 kilometres (1,500 miles) and it can carry up to 52 people. Iranian airlines are one of the plane’s biggest users.

Iran has suffered several air crashes in recent years, blamed on ageing planes, poor maintenance and a shortage of new parts because of international sanctions.