16 Jul 2009

Iranian plane crash kills 168

9:16 am on 16 July 2009

All 168 passengers and crew have died in a Caspian Airlines plane crash in northern Iran.

State TV said wreckage was spread over a large area in a field in Jannatabad village, Qazvin province, about120km north-west of Tehran.

The Tupolev plane was flying from the Iranian capital to Yerevan in Armenia.

The cause of the crash, which happened 16 minutes after take-off on Wednesday, was unknown.

Eight members of Iran's national junior judo team and two coaches were among the dead.

It was earlier reported that most of the passengers were Armenian, but officials later said the majority on board were Iranian.

The plane was built in Russia in 1987. It was the third deadly crash of a Tupolev Tu-154 in Iran since 2002.