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Iranian passenger plane reportedly crashes

posted 9 Jan 2011, 10:58 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 9 Jan 2011, 11:00 ]

Iranian media reports that a passenger plane has crashed, with at least 100 people on board.

TEHRAN, IRAN (JANUARY 9, 2011) PRESS TV - An Iranian passenger jet with at least 105 people on board crashed in bad weather on Sunday (January 9) near the north-western city of Urumiyeh, Iranian media said.

At least 50 people were rescued from the crash, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted an official as saying.

Fars, along with Press TV, said there were 105 people on board, but state TV put the number at 156.

Iran has suffered a string of crashes in the past few decades. U.S. sanctions against Iran have prevented it from buying new aircraft or spare parts from the West.

The last major air crash in Iran was in July 2009 when a Caspian Airlines Tupolev aircraft bound for Armenia caught fire in mid-air and crashed into farmland near the city of Qazvin, killing all 168 people on board.

One of the country's worst air accidents happened in February 2003 when an Iranian Ilyushin-76 troop carrier crashed in south-east Iran, killing all 276 Revolutionary Guard soldiers and crew aboard.