A group of aerospace experts said Wednesday that Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752, which seemingly dropped out of the sky minutes after takeoff last night in Tehran, was likely shot out of the sky.
According to a report cited by the Independent, analysts should start from the assumption that the plane, which had 176 people on board, none of whom survived, crashed as the result of a "shootdown." While others insisted that it's still too early to jump to conclusions, the OPS group, an aviation risk monitoring group, said photos from the crash site clearly show projectile holes in the plane's fuselage and wing.
"We would recommend the starting assumption to be that this was a shootdown event, similar to MH17 – until there is clear evidence to the contrary," highlighting photos of the crash site which they said "show obvious projectile holes in the fuselage and a wing section."
The Boeing Co. 737-800 single-aisle jet crashed two minutes after takeoff from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport while en route to Kiev.
Photos of the crash site showing thousands of pieces of scattered and charred debris.
And if there was any time for Iran's defense system to misfire, doesn't it seem more likely that the system would be accidentally triggered immediately after takeoff?
Ukrainian International Airlines has also discounted the possibility of technical problems, insisting there was "nothing wrong" with the three-year old Boeing 737-800, which had undergone a scheduled technical check only two days earlier.
"We guarantee the safety of our aircraft and the high qualification of our crews," a spokesperson said.
As we reported earlier, Iran has said it has no plans to hand over the black box from the crash to Boeing, citing the state of relations with the US.
Qassem Biniaz, a spokesman for Iran’s Road and Transportation Ministry, claims the pilots "lost control of the plane" after a fire broke out in one of the plane's engines. Whatever led the Iranians to this conclusion is unclear. Though the plane is a predecessor to the Boeing 737 Max 8, which has been grounded for 10 months following the Lion Air crash in 2018, it actually has a sterling safety record.
Doesn't it seem far more likely that a misfiring of Iran's defense system might have brought down the plane?