Iran locates wreckage of crashed passenger plane that killed 66 people

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All 66 passengers and crew aboard a plane that crashed in central Iran on Sunday are believed to have been killed.

Aseman Airlines was blacklisted by the European Commission in December 2016.

Morteza Salimi, the IRCS official in charge of relief-and-rescue operations, confirmed that the crash site had been located, Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency reported Tuesday.

Bad weather had thwarted a recovery mission on Sunday, when a rescue helicopter was forced to turn back.

Aseman Airlines flight EP3704 disappeared on Sunday morning in the Zagros range with 66 people on board, around 45 minutes after taking off from Tehran.

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Iran has suffered several plane crashes in the past few decades and has blamed US sanctions for preventing it from importing new aircraft or spare parts.

The plane was carrying 60 passengers and 6 crew members.

"However, in case of a snowfall, aerial and helicopter search will not be possible and search will go on with the rescue teams on the ground".

In a message on his website, President Hassan Rouhani said he has assigned officials to investigate the case and apply measures to avoid similar incidents in future.

The ATR aircraft, a twin-engine turboprop typically used for short-distance regional flights, hit the Dena Mountains.

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Officials from the region told news channels rescuers had reached the site.

Sixty passengers, two security guards, two flight attendants and the pilot and co-pilot were on board.

Pilot Hojatollah Fooled successfully landed a similar plane after an engine problem in 2013, the airline said in an Instagram post. It said the plane was flying from Tehran to the southern Iranian city of Yasuj.

Capt. Houshang Shahbazi became a national hero to Iranians in December 2011 after he managed to safely land a 40-year-old Boeing 727 while the gear in the nose was jammed and the front wheel did not open.

IRNA reported Sunday night that one passenger did not make the flight.

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