Iran says it will not hand the flight data recorders from the Ukraine International Airlines airliner back to plane-maker Boeing or the United States.
Speaking to Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency, the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Authority, Ali Abedzadeh said the black boxes would be analyzed in the country where the accident took place, in accordance with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) rules.
Ukrainian investigators would be a part of the process, he added.
But Abedzadeh did rule out involving the US in any stage of the investigation. “We will not give the black box to the manufacturer [Boeing] or America,” he said.
Without speaking at length about the accident, the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Authority revealed that the pilot did not communicate any problems to the air traffic control, but said it was still too early to tell what had caused the crash.
“The cause of the accident will not be discovered or announced until the black box is analyzed,” he added.
Ukraine International Airlines released a statement Wednesday confirming that its flight PS752, operating to Kiev, disappeared from radars a few minutes after its departure from the Iranian capital.
The flight departed Tehran International Airport at 6:10 a.m., the statement said.
It added that the plane was a Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, registration UR-PSR, and “was built in 2016 and delivered directly to the airline from the manufacturer.”
The airline has suspended all its flights to Tehran until further notice.
Ukraine International Airlines expressed its deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the crash and will do everything possible to support them, the statement said.
The airline added that it is currently clarifying the exact number of passengers on board after preliminary data said there were 167 passengers and nine crew members on board.