Aviation experts skeptical about Iran’s initial claim on the possible cause of planecrash

The crew of the Ukrainian passenger aircraft that crashed near Tehran did not make a radio call for help and were trying to turn back to the airport when the plane went down, Iran investigators say.

Iran’s civil aviation authority made the comments in a preliminary crash report a day after the crash of the Ukrainian plane that killed all 176 people on board.

The investigators also said that the plane was engulfed in fire before it crashed.

The crash caused a massive explosion when the plane hit the ground, likely because the aircraft had been fully loaded with fuel for the flight to Kyiv, Ukraine, the report said.

It also confirmed that both of the black boxes that contain data and cockpit communications from the plane had been recovered, though they had been damaged and some parts of their memory was lost.

Iran said they would not hand over the black boxes to the US.

Meanwhile Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said crash investigators from his country had arrived in Iran to assist in the probe.

He also said he planned to call President Hassan Rouhani about the crash and the investigation.

“Undoubtedly, the priority for Ukraine is to identify the causes of the plane crash,” Mr Zelenskiy said. “We will surely find out the truth.”

But aviation experts were skeptical about Iran’s initial claim the plane was brought down by a mechanical problem.

At least 63 Canadians were killed in the crash and the country’s prime minister said his government is pushing to be part of the Iranian-led investigation of the plane crash.

Mr Trudeau said 138 passengers on the flight were connecting to Canada.

The flight included many international students who were studying at universities across Canada. Newlyweds and a Canadian family of four were also on the flight.

“Canadians have questions and they deserve answers,” Mr Trudeau said.

Asked if he could say whether the plane was shot down or not, the prime minister said: “I cannot. It’s too early to speculate.”

While Canada’s Transport Minister Marc Garneau said: “Something unusual happened.”