Restos de la aeronave. Socorristas buscan sin esperanzas sobrevivientes. La aeronaeve es de la compañía Caspian Airlines y volaba con destino a Erevan, la capital de Armenia. El accidente ocurrió 16 minutos después de haber despegado en Qazvin. Se desconocen las causas. 

Las 168 personas, entre pasajeros y tripulantes, que viajaban a bordo de un avión iraní murieron hoy al estrellarse la aeronave en las cercanías de la ciudad de Qazvin, al noroeste de Teherán, confirmaron las autoridades.

El avión, de la compañía Caspian Airlines, volaba con destino a Erevan, la capital de Armenia, con 153 pasajeros y 15 tripulantes a bordo, y se estrelló por causas que no están claras ya que aún no se halló la caja negra.

El comandante de la policía de la provincia de Qazvin, Hosein Behzapour, confirmó que "los 168 ocupantes del avión murieron en la tragedia", según reportaron las agencias DPA, Europa Press y Ansa.

Por su parte, el portavoz de la aviación iraní Reza Jafarzadeh informó que "el vuelo 7908 de Caspian Airlines se estrelló 16 minutos después de su despegue del aeropuerto internacional Imán Jomeini", de Takestán, en la provincia de Qazvin, a las 11:33 (4:03 hora argentina).

Entre los pasajeros, viajaban dos niños y 151 adultos de los cuales diez eran miembros del equipo nacional de yudo, ocho atletas acompañados por dos técnicos, que debían realizar un período de preparación y competencias en Armenia.

De los 153 pasajeros, 147 eran iraníes, cuatro armenios y dos de Georgia, dijo el vice director de la Aviación Civil armenia, Arsen Pogossian.

Asimismo, al precisar detalles sobre el accidente, Pogossian destacó que "se produjo un incendio en un motor y el piloto intentó un aterrizaje de emergencia", de tal modo que el avión pudo haber sufrido una falla técnica que hizo que el aparato se incendiara en pleno vuelo.

El avión debía entrar en el espacio aéreo armenio a las 12.52 locales, pero cuatro minutos antes, "los controladores iraníes llamaron para advertir que el avión había desaparecido de los radares", señaló.

Por su parte, el comandante de la policía de Qazvin, Masud Yafarnassab, declaró a la prensa iraní que el avión quedó "totalmente destruido", que todos los que iban a bordo murieron y que los cadáveres están "completamente calcinados y destruidos", por lo que será difícil identificarlos.

Reporteros iraníes dijeron haber visto restos de la aeronave esparcidos en un radio de cientos de metros alrededor del lugar donde el aparato se precipitó a tierra.

Por su parte, el presidente iraní, Mahmud Ahmadineyad, expresó sus condolencias a los familiares mediante un comunicado.

El avión accidentado es un trirreactor Tupolev Tu-154, con una apariencia similar al Boeing 737.

Los primeros Tupolev levantaron vuelo en 1968, y hasta la construcción del Boeing 737 era uno de los aviones de alta velocidad más fabricados del mundo.

La aerolínea iraní Caspian Airlines posee en total cuatro de estas aeronaves rusas que realizan vuelos internos y combinaciones a Dubai, Estambul y Kiev.

La flota aérea iraní, que depende en gran medida de la tecnología estadounidense, es una de las industrias más golpeadas por las sanciones norteamericanas que impiden la adquisición de nuevos modelos y repuestos.

Las mayores tragedias aéreas en Irán en los últimos años dejaron un saldo de 700 víctimas fatales en accidentes producidos a lo largo de 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 y 2006.

La Unión Europea (UE), por su parte, anunció que enviará una carta a las autoridades iraníes para recibir información sobre el estado del Tupolev que se precipitó hoy en Irán.

La compañía Caspian Airlines fue inspeccionada dos veces desde 2007, de acuerdo con el programa de seguridad europeo, y no está en la lista negra de la UE de las aerolíneas en riesgo, aunque fuentes comunitarias recordaron que el Tupolev no estaba volando sobre el espacio aéreo europeo. 

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