The bodies of eleven women, including three crew members, have been recovered after a private Turkish jet crashed in Iran while flying from United Arab Emirates to Turkey on March 11.
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency has reported that the Iranian authorities have also recovered the “black box” from the jet.
The aircraft’s black boxes will be handed to Turkish authorities, IRNA said.
The Bombardier Challenger 604 was carrying Mina Başaran, the daughter of a Turkish businessman, and seven of her friends.
Turkish media reported that Mina Başaran, the 28-year-old daughter of Hüseyin Başaran, had spent several days in the UAE with friends celebrating ahead of her wedding next month.
The flight took off on March 11 from Sharjah in the U.A.E.
Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization said the plane crashed at 6:09 p.m. after the pilot requested to descend due to a “technical problem.”
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 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.
IRNA reported that a Turkish group close to the victims had arrived at Shahr-e Kord, accompanied by a Turkish diplomat.
It said all the bodies had been identified except two, which were badly burned.
The Turkish army said it had sent a plane and emergency personnel to Iran to assist in salvage efforts.
A graduate of Istanbul’s Koç University, Mina Başaran had been on the board of her father’s company, Başaran Holding, since 2013 and was reportedly being groomed as his successor.
The hen party was also intended for three other women on board who were due to marry this summer. Several of the victims, such as Mina, had enjoyed successful careers in the fashion industry.
Turkish media reported that at least one was pregnant.
Photographs reprinted from social media showed the women lounging at a resort at the UAE and posing with the two pilots inside the plane.
The two female pilots were reportedly Beril Gebeş and Melike Kuvvet, who was one of the first female pilots in the Turkish armed forces but subsequently left to work in civil aviation.
Turkish media reports said Mina Başaran was to marry her fiancé Murat on April 14 at the Çırağan Palace, an Ottoman-era palace by the Bosphorus and one of the most prominent wedding venues in Turkey.
Mina’s father Hüseyin had named a massive residential property development on the Asian side of Istanbul in the district of Fikirtepe after her: “Mina Towers.”
Başaran Holding grew out of northeastern Turkey’s hazelnut trade and has since invested in multiple sectors including finance, construction, energy, cement, tourism, clothing and yachts.
Hüseyin Başaran, the company’s third generation chief, is also the former deputy chairman of Turkey’s Trabzonspor football team.
There was no immediate indication as to the cause of the crash.
The crash comes less than a month after a twin-engine passenger plane of Iran’s Aseman Airlines crashed in the Zagros range, killing all 66 people on board.
That plane went off the radar after taking off from Tehran on a domestic flight as a snowstorm battered the mountains.