Passenger plane crashes in Iran with 65 aboard, report says

(CNN)All 65 people on board a passenger plane that crashed Sunday in a mountainous region of southern Iran are presumed dead, the airline said.

The Aseman Airlines plane was flying from Tehran to the southwestern city of Yasuj when it disappeared 50 minutes into the flight, according to a post on the airline's Instagram account.
The flight, which departed at 7:55 a.m. local time (11.25 p.m. ET Saturday), crashed in Kohangan village, 120 kilometers (74 miles) from Semirom town, authorities told Iran's Fars News Agency .
Earlier reports said 66 people had died in the crash, but one would-be passenger did not board the flight, Aseman Airlines confirmed Sunday.
    Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani expressed their condolences to the victims and their families, ordering officials to spare no efforts in their rescue operation, the state-run Islamic News Agency reported.
    The ATR aircraft, a twin-engine turboprop typically used for short-distance regional flights, hit the Dena Mountains, the report said.
    Aseman's public relations chief, Mohammad Tabatabaie, told Iran's semi-official news agency ISNA that until the wreckage was recovered it was not possible to confirm all deaths.
    "Given the special circumstances of the region, we still have no access to the spot of the crash and therefore we cannot accurately and definitely confirm the death of all passengers of this plane," he said.
    Those aboard included 59 passengers, two flight attendants, two pilots and two members of security forces.
    Aseman Airlines posted an image of the plane involved in the crash on its Instagram account.

    Iran Aseman Airlines #هواپیمایی_آسمان متاسفانه سقوط هواپیمای ATR72 به رجیستر EP-ATS به خلبانی کاپیتان فولاد تایید میشود. هواپيماي ATR72 هواپيمايي #آسمان كه صبح امروز تهران را به مقصد ياسوج ترك كرده بود، پنجاه دقيقه پس از پرواز، از صفحه رادار محو شده است. آسمان ٦٦ مسافر و خدمه هواپیمای ATR آسمان کشته شدند مدیر روابط عمومی هواپیمایی آسمان از کشته شدن تمام مسافران و خدمه پرواز هواپیمای ATR این شرکت خبر داد که صبح امروز در حوالی سمیرم سقوط کرد. هواپیمای ای تی ار ساعت 8 صبح امروز از فرودگاه مهراباد تیک‌اف کرد و حدود 50 دقیقه بعد به دلیل شرایط جوی به کوه دنا برخورد کرد. وی تصریح کرد: متاسفانه تمام مسافران و خدمه این پرواز کشته شدند. این هواپیما حامل 60 مسافر، 2 مهماندار، 2 نفر امنیت پرواز و دو نفر خلبان و کمک خلبان بوده است. هواپیمای این شرکت به کوه دنا برخورد کرده و سقوط این هواپیما تایید می‌شود. تیم‌های جست‌وجو به محل حادثه اعزام خواهند شد. اخبار تکمیلی اعلام میگردد #AsemanAirlines

    A post shared by Iran Aseman Airlines (@asemanairlines) on

    Pilot Hojatollah Fooled successfully landed a similar plane after an engine problem in 2013, the airline said in an Instagram post.
    It described Fooled as "very experienced."
    "On a previous flight from Yasuj to Tehran in 2013 he had an issue where the second engine of the ATR72 went out," said the post. "But he manged to land the plane safely at Yasuj airport."
    Twenty rescue teams have been dispatched to the crash site. One helicopter earlier forced to turn back due to bad weather.
    "This is a snow-covered mountainous area, much like the Rockies in America or the European Alps," CNN Senior International Correspondent Sam Kiley said. "Any rescue operation will depend entirely on the weather."
    Several flights from Tehran were disrupted Sunday due to bad weather, according to IRNA.
    And at Abadan International Airport in southwestern Iran, two domestic flights were canceled due to pollution, which reduced visibility range to two meters, IRNA added.