Angry relatives of more than 100 people killed in Iran's worst air disaster for three years complained Wednesday that officials knew in advance that the crashed plane was not safe to fly.
Military officials denied knowing that the Air Force plane had problems but the judiciary said it had appointed a judge to investigate relatives' claims.
The U.S.-made C-130 Hercules struck a Tehran apartment block on Tuesday as it tried to make an emergency landing at the capital's main airport after reporting engine problems.
The plane was taking scores of journalists to cover military exercises in the Gulf.
All 94 aboard died and several others were killed as flames engulfed the building and nearby cars.
"Why did they send all those journalists in a plane with technical problems?" asked Mojgan Afshar, sister of a reporter from the state broadcasting network IRIB who was on the plane. "We want to complain but where should we go?"
She was among hundreds of relatives and colleagues of those killed who went to Tehran's main coroner's office trying to identify their loved ones.
Inside a large hall dozens of blankets were laid out with disfigured, charred and lacerated body parts. Not one complete body could be seen.
Parivash Nouri, wife of a photographer from the Hamshahri newspaper, said she had identified her husband by recognizing his hands and neck.
"His face was totally destroyed," she said.
Like many there she said she had received several calls from her husband before take off telling her that the pilot was reluctant to fly because the plane had technical problems and that it seemed likely that the trip would be canceled.
Deputy Commander of the Army Joint Chief of Staff Mohammad Hassan Nami said the plane had undergone thorough checks before take-off.
"The plane did not have any technical failure before departure," he told the official IRNA news agency.
‘Just give me my son’
"What we saw inside is like a horror movie," said Hassan, who was trying to help identify a dead colleague. "They are just pieces of bodies."
Coronary officials said 106 bodies had so far been recovered but that the death toll would probably rise to almost 120 as more body parts were identified.
Wailing and shouts filled the air. Several people fainted and some vomited.
"Just give me my son. How can a mother identify her son like this?" one woman sobbed.
"I want to go and check the hands. I know my brother's fingers," her daughter said.
Simin, the aunt of a photographer from the Fars news agency, said: "He had twins. He didn't want to go. He was scared this time for some reason."
Air safety experts say Iran has an aging, poorly maintained fleet of aircraft due in part to U.S. sanctions imposed in the 1990s that prevent it from buying U.S.-built planes or spare parts.
"These planes were out of date 15 years ago," said Hassan, whose brother died in the apartment block struck by the plane. "I'm a military man and I know they don't pay enough for the planes' maintenance. Also, due to the U.S. embargo we don't have enough parts. They take parts from this plane and that plane and then pray to God for a safe landing."