Iran Plane Carrying 29 Missing
May. 17, 2001
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ A plane carrying 29 people, including Iran's transport minister and six parliament members, is missing and presumed crashed in northern Iran, Tehran airport officials said Thursday.
The plane carrying 19 passengers and 10 crew was minutes from landing at the city of Sari, 155 miles northeast of Tehran, when contact with the control tower was lost early Thursday, the officials said. It was raining heavily at the time.
According to one report from the official Islamic Republic News Agency, the plane was bound for Gorgan, 80 miles east of Sari, but was diverted because of bad weather.
The governor told state television that the weather might have forced the plane to make an emergency landing. ``We do not rule out the possibility of a crash landing in a place with no communications,'' said the governor, identified only by the name Ahmadi.
A search for the YAK-40, a Russian civilian aircraft, was underway involving helicopters, aircraft and boats. Sari and Gorgan lie near the Caspian Sea.