Disasters & Accidents

Iran sends black box from downed Ukrainian plane to France

Tehran, Jul 18 (efe-epa) .- Iran said Saturday it has sent the black box from a Ukrainian passenger plane that was accidentally downed in Tehran earlier this year to France.

Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 was shot down by Iranian armed forces on 8 January near Tehran, killing all 176 people aboard.

The plane, which was bound for Kiev, was hit by two missiles shortly after take-off after it was mistaken for an incoming projectile, according to Iranian authorities.

Iranian deputy foreign minister Mohsen Baharvand said the black box from the aircraft was sent to Paris on Friday and is due to be read on Monday.

Canada, which lost 55 citizens in the incident, and Ukraine had demanded that the flight recorder be handed over to Canada, Ukraine or France for inspection.Iranian authorities previously tried to analyze the black box, which contains flight data and communications, but did not have the resources to do so as very few countries have this capacity.

Iran initially tried to deny responsibility for the incident but was forced to admit that it was behind the tragedy after mounting evidence of its involvement.

Tehran said the plane was shot down accidentally due to human error.

It came amid heightened tensions in the country, which had carried out missile attacks on United States air bases in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of the killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike days earlier in Baghdad. The 176 victims included 82 Iranians, 11 Ukrainians (two passengers and nine crew) and nationals from Sweden, Afghanistan, Germany and the United Kingdom, according to data from the airline.

There have been discrepancies and alterations in the passenger list as some of the people on board are believed to have had dual nationalities.

It was initially reported that there were 63 Canadians on board but this figure was later revised to 55 by Canadian authorities.Iran has previously informed Ukraine that it is willing to address legal issues and the procedure to pay compensation to the families of passengers who died in the incident. EFE-EPA

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