An Iranian Caspian Airlines passenger plane has crashed in northwest Iran, with all of the 168 people aboard, 153 passengers and 15 crew members, presumed dead, informs Interfax news agency.
The plane was traveling from Tehran to Yerevan in Armenia when it came down at 11:33 a.m. (0703 GMT) near the city of Qazvin, the official IRNA news agency said.
The plane crashed 16 minutes after take-off from the capital's Imam Khomeini International airport, it said.
The semi-official Fars News Agency quoted a senior provincial official, Sirous Saberi, as saying the plane had experienced technical problems and had tried to do an emergency landing.
"Unfortunately the plane caught fire in the air and it crashed ... different small parts of this plane can be seen on the ground," he said.
Qazvin police commander Massoud Jafari told IRNA, "Evidence shows that this passenger plane has been completely destroyed."
A fire brigade official, Hossein Behzadpour, said firefighters were trying to extinguish the fire.
Following is a timeline of some major crashes involving Iran in the last 10 years:
March 14, 1997 - An Iranian military plane with about 80 people on board crashes in a mountainous region in northeastern Iran, killing all passengers and crew.
Feb. 2, 2000 - An Iranian Air Force C-130 runs out of control while taking off at Tehran airport and crashes into an empty Iran Air A300. Both aircraft are destroyed and all six aboard the C-130 are killed.
May 17, 2001 - A Russian Yak-40 plane carrying 29 people, including Iran's Transport Minister Rahman Dadman and other deputy ministers crashes in northern Iran killing all on board.
Feb. 12, 2002 - An Iran Air Tours Tupolev-154 crashes near the western city of Khorramabad. All 118 people aboard are killed.
Dec. 23 - A Ukrainian Antonov An-140 plane crashed into a mountain in central Iran, killing all 46 aboard. Most of the passengers were top Ukrainian and Russian aerospace officials who were travelling to Iran to test fly an Iranian-built copy of the plane. The crash was blamed on pilot error.
Feb. 19, 2003 - An Iranian Ilyushin-76 troop carrier crashes in southeastern Iran killing all 276 Revolutionary Guard soldiers and crew aboard.
Feb. 10, 2004 - A Kish airlines Fokker-50 plane crashes during landing in Sharjah airport in the United Arab Emirates killing 43 of the 45 passengers and crew aboard.
Dec. 6, 2005 - An Iranian Air Force C-130 aircraft with 94 people on board crashes into a 10-storey apartment block in the Shahrak-e Towhid area of Tehran, killing all on board and at least 22 people on the ground.
Jan. 9, 2006 - An Iranian military plane crashes in northwest Iran, killing at least 11 people on board, including several Revolutionary Guard commanders.
Sept. 1 - An Iran Air Tour Tupolev 154 passenger plane catches fire on landing at an airport in the northeastern city of Mashhad, killing 29 people.
Nov. 27 - A Russian-designed Antonov-74 military aircraft crashes shortly after take-off from a Tehran airport, killing at least 36 people on board.
Aug. 24, 2008 - A Boeing 737-200 belonging to a private Kyrgyz company Itek-Air, chartered by an Iranian company and bound for Iran, crashes at Bishkek airport. Around 70 people, including members of a local teenage basketball team, died.
July 15, 2009 - A Caspian Airlines Tupolev aircraft, carrying 153 passengers and 15 crew travelling from Tehran to Yerevan in Armenia, crashes near the city of Qazvin killing all aboard.
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