There are many questions over what caused a Ukranian passenger plane to crash in Iran Wednesday morning. The black boxes were reportedly recovered, but Iranian officials say they were damaged. They are also refusing to share the flight-data recorders with Boeing. CNN says that Ali Abedzadeh, the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Authority, also pointed out, “The US will not be involved at any stage of the investigation.” As per normal procedure though, other countries are participating in the investigation. The New York Times writes:

“Investigators will look into the possibility that a missile shot down the Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed in Iran, a senior Ukrainian official said on Thursday, but he did not rule out a range of other possibilities for the disaster that killed at least 176 people.

The official, Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, said that investigators were following up on unconfirmed reports that fragments of a Russian-made Tor surface-to-air missile — a system used by Iran — had been found near where the plane came down.”

Newsweek says they were told that the plane was “struck by an anti-aircraft missile system:”

One Pentagon and one U.S senior intelligence official told Newsweek that the Pentagon’s assessment is that the incident was accidental. Iran’s anti-aircraft were likely active following the country’s missile attack, which came in response to the U.S. killing last week of Revolutionary Guard Quds Force commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, sources said.

U.S. Central Command declined to comment on the matter when contacted by Newsweek. No reply was returned from the National Security Council or State Department.

No distress call was made from the cockpit, so whatever happened was sudden and rapid. The Wall Street Journal reports:

The Boeing Co. 737-800 single-aisle jet ascended to 8,000 feet before disappearing from radar and crashing, killing all 176 people on board, said Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, according to the state news agency. Mr. Abedzadeh said that before crashing, the plane turned around and headed back in the direction of the airport. The jet was aflame as it hit the ground and exploded, he added.

Sixty-three Canadians were on board the flight, so Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is working closely on the investigation. When asked whether he could say if the plane was shot down or not, he replied, “I cannot.”


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