11 dead after Turkish private jet crashes in mountains in Iran
ISTANBUL/DUBAI, March 11 (Reuters) – All 11 people on board a private Turkish plane were presumed dead on Sunday after it crashed and burst into flames on an Iranian mountainside while bringing a wealthy businessman’s daughter and her friends home from a Dubai bachelorette party.
The plane was owned by the private holding company of Turkish businessman Huseyin Basaran, and carried eight passengers and three crew, an official for Turkey’s transport ministry said.
Those on board included Basaran’s daughter Mina and seven of her friends, all flying back from a party ahead of her planned wedding next month.
Basaran, a former deputy chairman of Trabzonspor football club, owns businesses that span yachts to energy. His construction projects include a large housing project on Istanbul’s Asian side called “Mina Towers,” named after his daughter.
The last photo on Mina Basaran’s Instagram account showed her surrounded by seven other young women, all wearing robes and sunglasses. The post, tagged #minasbachelorette, said it was taken at the One and Only Royal Mirage luxury hotel in Dubai.
By late on Sunday evening, just a few hours after news of the crash, there were more than 7,000 comments on the photo.
The head of the Turkish Red Crescent, Kerem Kinik, told Reuters there was “no chance” of any survivors, given the aircraft was a jet and it was flying in snowy weather, although he was unable to officially confirm fatalities.
Calls to Basaran Holding’s office in Istanbul went unanswered.
Reza Jafarzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, told state television the jet had crashed near the southwestern city of Shahr-e Kord.
Local residents who had reached the site of the crash said there appeared to be no survivors and victims’ bodies were burnt, ISNA news agency reported, quoting Mojtaba Khaledi, spokesman for Iran’s emergency services.
ISNA earlier quoted emergency services as saying the wreckage was burning and was clearly visible.
Emergency crews were attempting to reach the crash site but the terrain was mountainous, making their approach difficult, ISNA said.
© 2018 Reuters