A Ukrainian International Airlines plane crashed today, just after taking off from Imam Khomeini airport at 06:12 local time and 170 people were sadly killed.

Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) said its flight from Tehran to Kyiv disappeared from radar just a "few minutes" after take-off.

Cranfield University’s Professor Graham Brathwaite, Professor of Safety and Accident Investigation and Director of Transport Systems for the University, said: “The investigation is very important, we shouldn’t speculate or make decisions without evidence. There is an International convention formed through the International Civil Aviation Organisation, part of the United Nations, which sets the rules of how investigations will be conducted. These are safety investigations, not to apportion blame or liability, but to focus on what the industry can learn. It is led by the state in which the accident occurred, with provision for other accredited representatives to participate. 

“The investigation will be led by Iran as ‘the state of occurrence’ with Ukraine acting as an accredited representative. One of the other States that would normally participate is the state of the manufacturer, in this case the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).  They could bring in technical advisors - in this investigation that would be the manufacturer, Boeing. This ensures the independence of the investigation’s findings.”

Ukraine has already appointed the National Bureau of Accident Investigation to participate in the investigation.  With the political situation between Iran and the US being sensitive, there may be challenges for the NTSB and Boeing in being part of that investigation. 

Professor Brathwaite, added, “It would be difficult for the NTSB to deploy to Iran at the moment, so there is provision for another state to volunteer its services. So a neutral state might, for example, decode the flight data recorder (black box).”

In a statement on its website, the Ukrainian national carrier said according to preliminary data there were 167 passengers and nine crew members on board but its staff were "clarifying the exact number".

It said the aircraft was built in 2016 and had its last scheduled maintenance on Monday.

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