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Plane Crashes Near Tehran, Highlights Iran's Aviation Record

Dozens of people are dead after a plane crashed outside Tehran Sunday, the latest in a rising level of deadly air accidents in Iran.
Posted at 9:39 AM, Aug 10, 2014

Dozens of people are dead after a plane crashed west of Tehran Sunday morning, and the crash is highlighting the problem of potentially dangerous air travel in the country.

Many outlets have put the reported death toll as high as 48 — 40 passengers and eight crew members.

Iran's Fars News Agency cites officials who say an engine lost power right as the plane was about to take off. So far, officials say 38 bodies have been pulled from the crash site.

A correspondent with the BBC points out this kind of plane has a problematic history.

"The plane itself is a questionable type. ... These planes don't have a good record. The maiden flight, the test flight of that plane crashed."

That report also breaks down the numbers for overall aviation in Iran. In the past 25 years, there have been 200 accidents involving Iranian planes — killing more than 2,000 people. The country is still flying planes from before the Iranian revolution in 1979.

And it's an issue outlets have noticed before. In 2012, The New York Times reported U.S. sanctions had hurt Iran's chance at getting better planes. It featured the story of an Iranian pilot who was flying a plane that was 40 years old, which ended up having mechanical trouble.

One of Iran's last major crashes happened back in 2011. That's when a plane unsuccessfully tried making an emergency landing during a snowstorm — killing more than 75 people on board.