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Cargo plane crashes near Tehran, some crew hurt

Written by: Staff
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TEHRAN, Mar 28 (Reuters) A cargo plane crashed west of Tehran today, injuring some of the crew but causing no deaths, a police officer and Red Crescent official said.

Four crew members were injured but only two were still in ospital, Iranian Red Crescent official Hossein Jafarpour was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency. He said eight other members of the crew were unharmed.

However, details of the crash were confused.

IRNA said the plane was Bulgarian whereas the police spokesman on state television, identified only as Colonel Alipour, said it was Armenian.

The manager of Payam airport in Karaj, an industrial satellite city west of Tehran, told state media the Antonov cargo plane took off from there at 5.30 p.m. (1930hrs IST) but immediately requested an emergency landing.

But Alipour said the plane had requested an emergency landing while flying over Iran en route to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

Other police spokesmen and Iran's civil aviation authority were not immediately able to clarify these details to Reuters.

Bulgaria's transport ministry said it could not confirm the plane was Bulgarian after checks with local airlines.

''We do not have any such information for the moment. We have checked with the airlines that operate Antonov planes and fly to Iran and neither was aware of any accident,'' transport ministry spokeswoman Valia Luleva told Reuters.

The aircraft crashed at Savoj Bolagh, outside Karaj.

Reza Jafarzadeh, head of public relations at Iran's Civil Aviation Authority, told IRNA a bird could have been sucked into the engine, causing the crash.

The weather in Tehran and its environs was stormy throughout Tuesday afternoon and evening.

REUTERS PDS RN0059

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