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Ukrainian airlines to stop flying to Iran after plane crash near Tehran kills 176

A Ukrainian International Airlines passenger plane went down outside the Iranian capital of Tehran early Wednesday morning, killing all 176 people aboard. Iranian authorities offered conflicting explanations for the crash but rejected the idea that a missile had caused it. Ukrainian airline officials said the Boeing 737-800 aircraft, built in 2016, was in good working condition. John Yang reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: As Iran confronted the U.S., it also faced a major air disaster. A passenger plane from Ukraine went down outside the Iranian capital, killing 176 people.

    John Yang has our report.

  • John Yang:

    A scrapbook of family photos, scattered shoes, markers of the lives lost when a Ukrainian International Airlines jet crashed just after takeoff, killing all 167 passengers and nine crew on board.

    At the Kyiv airport in Ukraine, a father mourned.

  • Valery Matkov (through translator):

    My son is a senior flight attendant. My daughter called at 6:15 this morning to say that a plane had crashed, a Ukraine International Airlines plane. And then we found the video of the plane crashing.

  • John Yang:

    The flight took off from Tehran's International Airport this morning bound for Kyiv. After two minutes, it had reached about 7,300 feet, and contact was lost.

    Iranian officials offered conflicting explanations for the crash, but rejected suggestions that a missile downed the plane. Ukrainian airline officials said the aircraft had been in good working order.

  • Igor Sosnovsky (through translator):

    The plane was manufactured in mid-2016. It was received directly from the Boeing factory and wasn't used ever before. The last check was conducted on January 6, 2020, and was in good condition.

  • John Yang:

    It was a Boeing 737-800, one of the world's most widely used airliners. The model doesn't have the software implicated in the crashes of the 737 MAX, which has been grounded worldwide since March.

    As the investigation begins, Ukraine's prime minister said his countries airlines would stop flying to Iran.

  • Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk (through translator):

    We decided to suspend all the activities of all Ukrainian aviation companies in Iranian airspace until the causes of this tragedy become clear. As soon as the causes are completely clear, the decision will be reviewed.

  • John Yang:

    Iranian investigators are taking the lead and hope to find clues in the recovered black box flight data recorders. They said they will not send them to the United States for analysis.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm John Yang.

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