Plane catches fire at Tehran airport

Thursday, April 21, 2005

TEHRAN, Iran -- A Boeing 707 carrying 157 passengers skidded off a runway at Tehran's airport and caught fire Wednesday, killing a child and injuring several other people, state-run television reported. Television reports said the landing gear of the jetliner failed to open and the plane caught fire.

after making a hard landing.

State TV quoted the airline's managing director, identified only by his last name Nikokar, saying a child was killed.

"Only one person has been killed and a number of passengers have been injured," television quoted Nikokar as saying.

Reports said part of the plane's fuselage plunged into a river but passengers were able to jump out of the craft. The injured, many of whom suffered broken bones, have been taken to Tehran hospitals for treatment, the television said.

The broadcaster said the plane landed at 10:15 p.m. and the fire erupted minutes later. It said the aircraft carried 157 people, including eight children, and had flown in from the tourist island of Kish in the Persian Gulf.

Saha Airline Services is owned by the Iranian military but also operates civilian flights. It was not known whether military personnel were aboard Wednesday's flight.

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