MIAMI – On January 11, it was released in a statement by Iranian officials that the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 that crashed in Iran on January 8 was unintentionally shot down by anti-ballistic missiles that were currently being launched by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
Flight PS752 departed Iran’s capital city of Tehran from Imam Khomeini International Airport, returning to Ukraine’s capital, Kiev.
Around three minutes after departing, the aircraft disappeared from radar and crashed in the city of Parand, Iran. Airways released a preliminary story covering the incident here.
The aircraft, registered as UR-PSR, a Boeing 737-800 that was delivered to Ukraine International Airlines in 2016, was only three years old.
The crash took a total of 176 lives.
Initially, Iran had denied all rumors that the aircraft was shot down, as at the time of the crash, Iran was in the process of retaliating on U.S. military bases following the recent assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani.
Following Iran’s denial of all rumors of the aircraft being shot down, U.S. and Canadian officials released statements stating that they had intelligence suggesting that the aircraft was shot down by Iranian missiles.
The President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, later confirmed that “missiles fired due to human error” and noted that the accident as an “unforgivable mistake.”
Rouhani added that an “investigation will continue to identify and prosecute this great tragedy”.
Iran has said that the aircraft had turned towards a “sensitive military center” that was ran by the Iran Revolutionary Guards which then triggered an anti-ballistic missile to be launched at the aircraft with the Guards believing that it was an enemy target.
Not The First Time It’s Happened
This is not the only recent incident where an aircraft was shot down, as, back on July 17, 2017, Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on its flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 people on-board—283 passengers and 15 crew.
The aircraft registered as 9M-MRD was a Boeing 777-200ER (Extended Range) and was 17 years old at the time of the crash. The wreckage of the aircraft was discovered near Hrabove in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine.
Following official reports, it was stated that the aircraft was shot down by pro-Russian Rebels that were at the time fighting the War in Donbass during the Battle of Shakhtarsk at the time. It was reported that a Buk surface-to-air missile (SAM) system had shot the aircraft down.
Unfortunately, at the time the aircraft was shot down, Malaysia Airlines was already suffering from the sudden disappearance of flight MH370 which went missing earlier that year on March 8, 2014, and to date, has still never been found, although debris from the aircraft have washed ashore in eastern Africa.