71 Dead as Jet Crashes on Takeoff in Kyrgystan

71 of 120 aboard Tehran-bound plane reported dead
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 24, 2008 1:11 PM CDT
A Boeing 737 has crashed near Kyrgyzstan's main airport.    (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A passenger jet carrying at least 120 people to Iran crashed today near the main airport in Kyrgyzstan, Kyrgyz and US officials said. Russia's RIA-Novosti news agency quoted a Kyrgyz civil aviation official as saying 25 people survived. An airport official said the crash occurred after the crew reported a technical problem on board about 10 minutes into the flight to Tehran, and that the plane was returning to the airport.

An unidentified Kyrgyz aviation official said there were more than 120 abroad and that 25 survived. An airport official said the plane belonged to Itek Air, a Kyrgyz company, but was operated by Iran Aseman Airlines. Itek Air has been banned from operating in the airspace of the European Union, according to a list published by the EU on July 24.