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Ukrainian Airlines plane crashes in Tehran shortly after takeoff

This picture shows a Boeing 737-800 of the Ukraine International airline on September 24, 2019 at the airport in Duesseldorf, western Germany. (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

A Boeing 737 plane carrying 180 passengers and crew crashed shortly after takeoff from Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran early Wednesday local time, Iran’s semi-official news agency ISNA reported.

Most passengers on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight died, said Pirhossein Koulivand, head of Iran’s Emergency Medical Services.

Emergency crews have been dispatched to the crash site but cannot assist because the area is currently ablaze, Koulivand said on IRINN, a state-run media outlet. Koulivand said the crash site is between the cities of Parand and Shahriar.

Flight-tracking service FlightRadar 24 said in a tweet that the jet had been in service for about three and a half years.

ISNA reported the crash was due to to technical difficulties.

A Boeing spokesperson told CNN they are “aware of the media reports out of Iran and we are gathering more information.”

The crash takes place just days before the company’s new CEO David Calhoun will formally take the job. Calhoun replaces Dennis Muilenburg, who was ousted in December after Boeing’s disastrous year.

The American aviation giant is still reeling from the aftermath of two 737 Max crashes, which killed 346 people. The Max has been grounded worldwide since March, and the company has struggled with delays and other issues in its bid to get the planes back in the air.

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