Many questions remain about the crash of a Ukraine International Airlines plane in Iran on Wednesday, which killed all 176 on board.
The exact timeline of the crash is yet to emerge, while most victims are yet to be identified.
But most speculation is about the actual cause of the flight, which happened as Iran directed missile strikes on Iraqi bases that housed US troops.
Iranian authorities are distancing themselves from the idea that the plane was shot down, though the airline is defending the quality of the jet and its crew.
It is also unclear what role the US and Boeing, the American manufacturer of the plane, will play in the investigations amid the high tensions between the US and Iran.
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All 176 people on board were killed when a Ukraine International Airlines plane crashed in Iran early on Wednesday morning.
Authorities in Iran and Ukraine, as well as at the airline, have offered statements and press conferences, but a number of key unanswered questions still swirl.
Investigations have kicked off amid rampant speculation that current political tensions between the US and Iran could have contributed to the plane crash. Meanwhile, information on who was on the passenger jet and what happened before the crash remain lacking.
Here are the unanswered questions.
What happened on the flight?
A complete timeline of the flight is yet to emerge.
We know that the plane took off at 6:12 a.m. local time on Wednesday, and lost contact two minutes later.
But we don’t know exactly what time it crashed — just that it was only in the air for a few minutes, based on flight tracking software, and that the debris was found around six miles from the airport from where it took off.
Authorities also said the plane burst into flames shortly after takeoff, but whether the plane was already on fire before it crashed to the ground is not yet clear.
A video shared by the partially-state-run Iranian Students’ News Agency appears to show the plane on fire in the air before hitting the ground and filling the sky with flames, but the video’s content and connection to this crash has not yet been verified.
نخستین ویدئو از سقوط هواپیمای اوکراینی اطراف شهریار pic.twitter.com/M3bZiLLryQ
— خبرگزاری ایسنا (@isna_farsi) January 8, 2020
Who was killed?
Ukraine’s foreign minister said that the victims mostly came from Iran and Canada.
Vadym Prystaiko said the victims were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, and 11 Ukrainians, as well as 11 Swedish citizens, four Afghan citizens, three UK citizens, and three German citizens. Nine of those on board were crew members.
But he did not identify the victims.
Sky News identified the three UK citizens on board, while the airline identified the pilots as Volodymyr Gaponenko, Alexei Naumkin, and Sergey Khomenko. All had a minimum of 7,600 hours on Boeing 737 planes. Vice also identified some Canadian victims.
Ukraine International Airlines said it will post the passenger list on its website “after final confirmation of …read more
Source:: Business Insider