Entire hen party killed in plane crash on way home from Dubai
A bride-to-be and her hen party were killed when their private jet crashed in an Iranian mountain range on the way home from Dubai.
Authorities have said all 11 people on board the plane died in the crash but so far, only 10 bodies have been recovered.
Today, the plane’s ‘black box’ was found, with investigators hoping it will give them information about what may have caused the crash in the Zagros Mountains outside of the city of Shahr-e Kord, some 230 miles south of Iran’s capital, Tehran.
Families of the victims have arrived in Shahr-e Kord, accompanied by Turkish diplomats, IRNA reported.
The flight took off on Sunday from Sharjah International Airport in the United Arab Emirates.
But just over an hour into the flight, the plane rapidly gained altitude and then dropped drastically within minutes, according to flight-tracking website FlightRadar24.
It remains unclear what caused the crash, though a witness reportedly told state television the Bombardier CL604 was on fire before it hit the mountain.
Heavy rains and wind in the mountain range since the crash made it impossible for helicopters to land and remove bodies from the mountainside.
That black box records cockpit conversations and radio transmissions, as well as other data from a flight.
According to the Sharjah civil aviation authority, there were eight passengers on board the plane – six from Turkey and two from Spain – as well as three crew members.
‘The plane did not apply for maintenance procedures while on the ground of the airport,’ their statement said.
According to reports in Turkish newspapers, the passengers on board were bride-to-be Mina Basaran, 28, and a group of friends who had been celebrating her hen party in Dubai.
Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper said the plane’s three crew members – two pilots and one flight attendant – were all women as well.
Mina is the daughter of the chairman of Basaran Investment Holding – said to be the owner of the jet.
She posted photos on Instagram recently that are believed to be of her hen party, which included eight women.
In one of the pictures, Mina poses on tarmac by the private jet, carrying flowers and wearing a denim jacket with the words ‘Mrs Bride’ written on it.
She had used and hashtag ‘#bettertogether’.
In another picture, she holds heart-shaped balloons inside the plane and on Saturday, she posted a picture with seven smiling friends from a Dubai resort.
The last videos posted to her account showed her enjoying a Rita Ora concert at a popular Dubai nightclub.
Other victims included 28-year-old architect Zeynep Coskun, who also recently was engaged and would have married in the summer, Turkey’s private Dogan news agency said.
Melike Kuvvet, the plane’s co-pilot, was a former Turkish air force captain who was dismissed from the military but was hoping to be re-instated in May, Dogan reported.
Sunday’s crash came less than a month after an Iranian ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop used for short regional flights, crashed in southern Iran, killing all 65 people onboard.