Iranian plane catches fire on landing

Iranian plane catches fire on landing
# 24 January 2010 09:04 (UTC +04:00)
Airline officials say the incident happened due to bad weather conditions. The captain had to make an emergency landing because a critical patient was on board.

Initial reports indicate that at least 46 of the 157 passengers onboard the Russian-made Topolov have been injured in the incident.

Although no deaths have been reported, the number of the wounded is expected to rise as the operation of transferring passengers continues, say the provincial emergency medical staff.

Medics have reached the scene and the wounded have been transferred to three hospitals in Iran’s northeastern city of Mashahd, a city that attracts pilgrims all year round.

An explosion separated almost a third of the plane’s fuselage on landing, ripping away the rear section. The aircraft had ultimately landed off the runway.

One of the wings and the landing gear also came apart in the fire, as the flames spread through the fuselage.

The plane had tried to land in Mashhad earlier that morning but foggy weather conditions had forced the pilot to turn back to land at the Isfahan airport, 872 kilometers to the southeast of the city.

After a short stop, the airliner had once again lifted off for Mashhad, but the incident occurred as it was reaching the end of its journey, repoted Press TV.