A Turkish private jet flying from the United Arab Emirates to Istanbul carrying a group of young women crashed on late March 11 in a mountainous region of Iran during a heavy rain, killing all 11 people on board, the Associated Press reported, citing authorities. The aircraft days earlier carried a bachelorette party bound for Dubai.
Search and rescue teams were deployed to the area of the incident, Kerem Kınık, the head of the Turkish Red Crescent, said on Twitter on March 11.
The three crew members as well as the eight passengers on board were also identified as female.
“A plane belonging to Turkey has crashed near Iran’s western city of Shahre Kord. Iranian Red Crescent Society has dispatched 10 teams to the disaster area in ChaharMahal and Bakhtiari province to search for possible survivors,” Kınık said in his tweet.
Iranian state television quoted Mojtaba Khaledi, the spokesman of the country’s emergency management organization, as saying the plane hit a mountain in Shahr-e Kord and burst into flames.
Shahr-e Kord is some 370 kilometers (230 miles) south of the capital, Tehran. The state-run IRNA news agency and state television said rescuers were trying to reach the scene, high up in the Zagros Mountains.
Khaledi later told a website associated with state TV that local villagers had reached the site in the mountains and found 11 badly burned bodies in the wreckage. He said DNA tests would be needed to identify the dead.
Turkey’ state-run Anadolu Agency also cited the Iranian media quoting Iranian officials to report that there have been no survivors in the crash.
Villagers near the crash say they saw flames coming from the plane’s engine before the crash, according to a report by Iran’s state-run judiciary news agency Mizan.
The plane took off around 4:41 p.m. (1311 GMT; 9:11 a.m. EST) on March 11 and reached a cruising altitude of just over 35,000 feet, according to FlightRadar24, a flight-tracking website. At around 6:01 p.m. (1431 GMT; 10:31 a.m. EST), something appears to have gone wrong with the flight as it rapidly gained altitude and then dropped drastically within minutes, data published by the website showed.
The semi-official Fars news agency said the plane took off from Sharjah International Airport on its way to Istanbul. A private company that handles public relations for the Sharjah airfield, the home of low-cost airline Air Arabia, declined to immediately comment to the Associated Press. Sharjah is a neighboring emirate of Dubai.
Turkey’s private Doğan News Agency identified the plane as a Bombardier CL604, tail number TC-TRB. Turkey’s Transport Ministry said the plane belongs to Başaran Holding.
Mina Başaran, a 28-year-old woman who is part of Başaran Holding’s board of managers and is in line to run the business, posted photographs on Instagram of what appeared to be her bachelorette party in Dubai.
Among those photographs was an image of the crashed plane posted three days ago.
The last videos posted to her account showed her and friends enjoying a concert by the British pop star Rita Ora at a popular Dubai nightclub. There was no further activity on her account after that.
The crash of the Turkish jet comes after an Iranian ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop used for short-distance regional flying, crashed in southern Iran, killing all 65 people on board in February.