PHOTOS: Ukraine International Airlines plane crashes in Iran killing all on board

Passengers' belongings are pictured at the site where the Ukraine International Airlines plane crashed after take-off from Iran's Imam Khomeini airport, on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran January 8, 2020. (Photo: Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters)

SHAHEDSHAHR, Iran (AP) — A Ukrainian passenger jet carrying 176 people crashed on Wednesday, just minutes after taking off from the Iranian capital's main airport, turning farmland on the outskirts of Tehran into fields of flaming debris and killing all on board.

The crash of Ukraine International Airlines came hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing U.S. soldiers, but Iranian officials said they suspected a mechanical issue brought down the 3½-year-old Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Ukrainian officials initially agreed, but later backed away and declined to offer a cause while the investigation is ongoing.

The plane carried 167 passengers and nine crew members from different nations. Ukraine's foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, said that there were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians on board — the Ukrainian nationals included two passengers and the nine crew. There were also 10 Swedish, four Afghan, three German and three British nationals, he said.

A rescue worker searches the scene where a Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)

Airline officials said most of the passengers were en route to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, transiting through there to other destinations. Staff at the Boryspil airport in Kyiv, told The Associated Press that passengers on this flight are usually Iranian students coming back to Ukraine after winter holidays.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy extended his condolences to the families of the victims. His office said he had cut his visit to Oman short and was returning to Kyiv because of the crash. The country's Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk confirmed the casualty toll.

"Our task is to establish the cause of the crash of the Boeing and provide all necessary help to the families of the victims," said parliament speaker, Dmytro Razumkov, in a Facebook statement.

Read the rest of this story by the Associated Press on Yahoo News >>>

Rescue workers search the scene where an Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Rescue workers carry the body of a victim of an Ukrainian plane crash in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
A rescue worker searchs the scene where an Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
A forensic investigator works at the scene of a Ukrainian plane crash as bodies of the victims are collected, in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Debris is seen from an Ukrainian plane which crashed as rescue workers search the scene in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Rescue workers carry the body of a victim of an Ukrainian plane crash among debris of the plane in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Debris is seen from an Ukrainian plane which crashed as authorities work at the scene in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020.(Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Rescue team work at the scene where an Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Rescue workers carry the body of a victim of an Ukrainian plane crash in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Debris is seen from an Ukrainian plane which crashed as authorities work at the scene in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020.(Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Debris is seen from an Ukrainian plane which crashed as authorities work at the scene in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Passengers' belongings are seen as search and rescue works are conducted at site after a Boeing 737 plane belonging to a Ukrainian airline crashed near Imam Khomeini Airport in Iran just after takeoff in Tehran, Iran on January 08, 2020. (Photo: Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Bodies of the victims of the Ukrainian plane crash are collected by a rescue team at the scene of the crash in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
A forensic investigator works at the scene of a Ukrainian plane crash as bodies of the victims are collected, in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020.(Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Debris is seen from an Ukrainian plane which crashed as authorities work at the scene in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020.(Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Rescue workers search the scene where an Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Rescue workers recover the bodies of victims of a Ukrainian plane crash in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020.(Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Security personnel work at the scene where a Ukrainian plane crash in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
The body of a victim of a Ukrainian plane crash lies on the ground in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Rescue workers inspect the scene where a Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Search and rescue works are conducted at site after a Boeing 737 plane belonging to a Ukrainian airline crashed near Imam Khomeini Airport in Iran just after takeoff in Tehran, Iran on January 08, 2020. (Photo: Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
People stand near the wreckage after a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran on January 8, 2020. (Photo by Rouhollah Vahdati/ISNA/AFP via Getty Images)
People and rescue teams are pictured amid bodies and debris after a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran early in the morning on January 8, 2020, killing everyone on board. (Photo by Rouhollah Vahdati/ISNA/AFP via Getty Images)
Rescue teams work amidst debris after a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran early in the morning on January 8, 2020, killing everyone on board. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)
Search and rescue works are conducted at site after a Boeing 737 plane belonging to a Ukrainian airline crashed near Imam Khomeini Airport in Iran just after takeoff in Tehran, Iran on January 08, 2020. (Photo: Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Search and rescue works are conducted at site after a Boeing 737 plane belonging to a Ukrainian airline crashed near Imam Khomeini Airport in Iran just after takeoff in Tehran, Iran on January 08, 2020. (Photo: Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Passengers' belongings are seen as search and rescue works are conducted at site after a Boeing 737 plane belonging to a Ukrainian airline crashed near Imam Khomeini Airport in Iran just after takeoff in Tehran, Iran on January 08, 2020. (Photo: Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Rescue workers recover the bodies of victims of the wreckage of a Boeing Co. 737-800 aircraft, operated by Ukraine International Airlines, which crashed shortly after takeoff near Shahedshahr, Iran, on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Photo: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
A page from a magazine lies amongst the wreckage from a Boeing Co. 737-800 aircraft, operated by Ukraine International Airlines, which crashed shortly after takeoff near Shahedshahr, Iran, on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Photo: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Rescue workers search the scene, where the Ukrainian plane crashed. A Ukrainian airplane carrying 176 people crashed on Wednesday shortly after takeoff from Tehran airport, killing all onboard. (Photo: Mahmoud Hosseini/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Debris of an aircraft lay at the scene, where a Ukrainian airplane carrying 176 people crashed on Wednesday shortly after takeoff from Tehran airport, killing all onboard. (Photo: Mahmoud Hosseini/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Security look at passengers' belongings at the site where the Ukraine International Airlines plane crashed after take-off from Iran's Imam Khomeini airport, on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran January 8, 2020. (Photo: Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters)
Blood stains are seen on the ground at the site where the Ukraine International Airlines plane crashed after take-off from Iran's Imam Khomeini airport, on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran January 8, 2020. (Photo: Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters)

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