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Iran plane crashes into building, 116 dead
Updated: 2005-12-07 06:52

"I was supposed to be on the plane as well so I don't know whether to be happy or sad," said a journalist from the ISNA students news agency who declined to be identified.

Iran plane crashes into building, 116 dead
Smoke and flames rise from a building where a plane crashed in Tehran December 6, 2005. An Iranian military plane carrying at least 94 people crashed in flames into a Tehran apartment block on Tuesday, killing all those on board, police said. [Reuters]
He said a colleague had called him from inside the plane before take off. "He said that the pilot didn't want to fly because there was a technical problem with the plane."

State television showed footage of some of its employees killed in the crash accompanied by mournful music.


An Interior Ministry spokesman said some of those killed on the ground had been in their cars, whose burned-out shells littered the crash site.

The front of the plane was destroyed on impact. A propeller and ripped wing smoldered in front of the blackened building. Flames licked out of the windows of the apartments and thick black smoke billowed into the sky.

"Some people were throwing themselves out of windows to escape the flames. I saw two die like that," a policeman said.

Passerby Hassan Hedayati, his face covered in dust and hands caked with dried blood, was among the first on the scene.

"I pulled 30 bodies out of the plane. They were all charred," he said.

The apartment block, which was still standing, is in the Shahrak-e Towhid neighborhood, a residential area reserved for military families. It lies on the flightpath to the airport.

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