A Ukrainian Boeing-737 carrying 176 people has crashed in Iran and officials say there is no chance of finding survivors.

Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 to Kyiv went down after taking off from Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran at 06:12 local time (02:42 GMT).

The majority of passengers were from Iran and Canada.

Ukraine’s Tehran embassy initially blamed engine failure but later removed the statement.

It said any comment regarding the cause of the accident prior to a commission’s inquiry was not official. Iranian media blamed technical problems and quoted an aviation official who said no emergency had been declared.

Debris and engine parts from the Boeing 737-800 NG plane were found some 10km (6 miles) from the airport and rescue workers with face masks searched the wreckage for victims.

Throughout the morning, Red Crescent workers laid out a long line of body bags.

Hours before the plane came down Iran carried out a ballistic missile attack on two air bases housing US forces in Iraq. There is no evidence that the two incidents were linked.

A series of airlines announced on Wednesday that they were avoiding both Iranian and Iraqi airspace.

Air France and KLM said they would use alternative routes while Lufthansa said it was also cancelling its daily flight to Tehran. Qantas, Air India, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines were among other airlines taking action.

BBC

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