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Iranian cargo plane tries to land at wrong airport; 15 dead

The aircraft was reportedly carrying meat from Kyrgyzstan to Iran.

TEHRAN, Iran — A Boeing 707 cargo plane coming from Kyrgyzstan crashed on Monday while trying to land west of Iran's capital, state media reported, with an emergency official saying only one person of the 16 on board was known to have survived.

Fire immediately engulfed the aircraft after it skidded off a runway and crashed into a wall separating the Fath Airport from a residential neighborhood. Images carried by Iran's state-run media showed the burned-out tail of the plane sticking out, surrounded by charred homes.

The plane crashed at Fath Airport, which belongs to Iran's powerful paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, when it was meant to land at the nearby Payam International Airport, about 25 miles west of Tehran.

Authorities did not immediately offer a reason for the crew's decision to land there, though they said the crew had declared an emergency prior to land.

Image: Emergency crews work near the wreckage of the creashed Boeing 707 cargo plane
Emergency crews work near the wreckage of a Boeing 707 cargo plane that crashed on Monday.Hasan Shirvani / EPA

In a statement carried by the semi-official Fars news agency, Iran's army said the aircraft "exited the runway during the landing and caught fire after hitting the wall at the end of the runway."

Pirhossein Koulivand, the head of the country's emergency medical services, said of the 16 people on board the plane, only the flight engineer was known to have survived. Iranian media reported seven bodies from the crash had already been recovered.

The plane reportedly was carrying a cargo of meat from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan's capital, to Iran.

It wasn't immediately clear who owns the plane, though Gen. Shahin Taghikhani, an army spokesman, told state TV that the plane and its crew were Iranian.