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Iranian minister 'blames human error for plane crash'

25 January 2010 [18:45] - TODAY.AZ
Iranian Minister of Road and Transportation Hamid Behbahani has said "human error" caused the crash of a Russian-made passenger airplane and a train accident in northeastern Iran.
The pilot's mistake led to the plane crash in Mashhad on Sunday because he made an emergency landing despite bad weather conditions, a member of the Development Commission of Iran's Parliament (Majlis) Mohammad-Ali Rezaei quoted Behbahani as explaining.

Rezaei said Iranian road minister attended the commission's session on Sunday to give explanations about the recent incidents, According the Islamic Republic News Agency.

He added that the Development Commission was not convinced by remarks made by the minister and other officials.

The lawmaker noted that bodies tasked with the case are scheduled to present a detailed report on reasons behind the recent incidents.

At least 46 passengers on board the Iranian Taban Airlines passenger aircraft were injured when the Russian-made Tupolev aircraft caught fire while trying to land in Mashhad airport Sunday morning.

Airline officials said the captain had to make an emergency landing because a critical patient was on board.

The crash comes less than a day after seven people were killed as the Mashhad-Tehran train derailed on Saturday. In addition to the dead twenty two people had also sustained injuries.

A member of an investigation team described excessive speed before and after entering the railway station as the major factor in the train accident.

"Preliminary investigations suggest that excessive speed before and after entering the railway station had caused the derailment of the Mashhad Tehran train," Qazanfar Fouladi told reporters on Sunday.

Iran's rail network has nearly 10,000 kilometers of track linking the capital of Tehran with the country's other main cities.

In 2004, a train loaded with chemicals and fertilizer exploded along the same route, killing at least 300 residents.

Iran has suffered a number of aviation disasters over the past decade, many involving Russian-made aircraft.

Officials have blamed the incidents on a ban on the sale of airplane parts to Iran, forcing it to supply the parts from Russia and other former Soviet Union states.

In the worst plane crash in Iran, a Tupolev-154M, crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran en route to the Armenian capital of Yerevan on July 15, 2009, leaving all 168 passengers onboard dead.

/Press TV/

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