An Iranian passenger plane ended up belly-down in the middle of a highway after reportedly skidding off the runway during a botched landing.
Two of the 136 passengers on board suffered leg injuries in the incident in the city of Mahshahr, medics said. The Caspian Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-83 was flying there from Tehran.
State TV quoted provincial aviation officials as saying that the pilot “landed the aircraft too late and this caused him to miss the runway”. This “caused the aircraft to overshoot the runway and stop in a boulevard” next to the airport, Mohammad Reza Rezaei added.
A reporter who was on board the aircraft said that the back wheel of the plane had broken off and that the plane had skidded on its fuselage.
— خبرگزاری ایسنا (@isna_farsi) January 27, 2020
Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation said an investigation was under way.
Iran has a poor aviation safety record. Sixty-six people were killed in a plane crash in February 2019, while dozens were killed when an IranAir plane broke into pieces upon landing in 2011. The EU has either banned or restricted two Iranian airlines from using its airspace over safety concerns.
Iran had planned to upgrade its ageing fleet after years of sanctions were lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear deal signed with world powers. However, the US Treasury revoked licences for companies to sell passenger aircraft to Iran after President Donald Trump left the agreement in 2018.
Monday’s incident in Mahshahr comes two weeks after a Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737-800 was mistakenly shot down by Iran’s armed forces near Tehran, killing all 176 people on board.