Ukraine will investigate whether a missile shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed in Iran, killing 176 people, The New York Times reports.
Ukrainian security official Oleksiy Danilov said that investigators were reviewing reports that “fragments of a Russian-made Tor surface-to-air missile — a system used by Iran — had been found near where the plane, a Boeing 737-800, came down,” according to the report.
Ukraine is negotiating with Iran for permission to investigate the crash site. The Iranians have also invited the United States’ National Transportation Safety Board to assist in the investigation.
Danilov said on Facebook that investigators are reviewing the crash for possible evidence of a terrorist attack, a collision with an object like a drone, and an engine explosion.
Plane went down minutes after takeoff:
The Ukrainian airliner crashed on Wednesday after turning back toward the Tehran airport minutes after takeoff.
The plane was headed for Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.
The plane was reportedly in flames before it hit the ground.
The plane did not send any distress signals before it went down.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the top priority “is to find out the causes of the tragedy.”
“We will definitely find out the truth,” he said. “We will conduct a detailed and independent investigation.”
Plane may have been mistaken for a fighter jet:
The circumstances of the crash “raised suspicions that the airliner may have been attacked, perhaps because it was mistaken for an American warplane,” The Times reported.
The crash occurred just hours after Iran attacked US targets in Iraq.
“This is not a topic for hype, social media likes, sensations and conspiracy theories,” Zelensky said. “We need patience, endurance and wisdom.”