Video appears to show the moment the Ukrainian plane went down over Iran

The video, which NBC News has verified, shows a plane in the night sky and a bright flash near its flight path, followed eventually by the sound of an explosion in the distance.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Suzanne Ciechalski and Jareen Imam

Video taken from the ground appears to show the moment a Ukrainian jetliner went downshortly after takeoff from Tehran on Wednesday, killing 176 people, in what officials believe was a mistaken missile strike by Iran.

The video, which NBC News has verified, shows a plane in the night sky and a bright flash near its flight path, followed eventually by the sound of an explosion in the distance.

Flight PS752 reportedly flew ablaze for several minutes before crashing to the ground.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said 82 of the people on board were Iranian, 63 were Canadian and 11 were Ukrainian, including the nine crew members. Ten were from Sweden, four were from Afghanistan, three were from Germany and three were from the United Kingdom.

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

World leaders and intelligence officials say the plane likely was struck by accident. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday that the flight may have been hit by an "unintentional" Iranian missile launch.

A Western intelligence official told NBC News that there was high confidence that the plane was felled by an accidental missile strike. The source, who receives high-level briefings from U.S. intelligence agencies, said the evidence included satellite imagery and intercepted communications.

Download the NBC News app for breaking news and full coverage of the Iran crisis

The plane's operator, Ukraine International Airlines, said the plane took off from Imam Khomeini International Airport en route to Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, at 6:10 a.m. local time (9:40 p.m. ET). It disappeared from radar a few minutes after departure.

Using satellite imagery and social media posts showing the moment the plane crashed, NBC News' Social Newsgathering team verified that the video does appear to show Flight PS752 being struck in midair by a foreign object Wednesday morning in Iran. The determination was made by pinpointing where the video most likely was recorded.

The Telegram video appears to have been recorded in the Iranian city of Parand, according to the investigative website Bellingcat. Parand is about 18 miles from Khomeini Airport.

Flight tracking data from the website FlightRadar24 shows that the plane traveled near Parand, and satellite imagery from the area paints a clearer picture of what viewers see in the Telegram video.

The flight path of the Ukrainian plane and where it disappeared from radar.FlightAware

Features of a white building to the left of the video match closely with what's shown in satellite imagery from the same area in Parand.

A video image shows a missile strike the airplane with the buildings as reference.Screen grab of user video obtained by NBC News
Coordinates where the video was shot showing a missile strike the airplane with the buildings as reference.Google Earth

In a separate video that surfaced Wednesday, also verified by NBC News' Social Newsgathering team, a person is heard saying the name "Ferdosiye," which is a city about 22 miles from Parand. The locations are relatively close to where the aircraft debris was recovered. The crash site appears to be near the village of Khalajabad, according to the satellite imagery firm Maxar.

The crash of Flight PS752 came just hours after Iran targeted two air bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq.

Wednesday's crash was the only major plane crash near Tehran to have occurred at night since 2005, according to flight history information. State TV reported that authorities found the downed aircraft shortly after 6 in the morning.

Ken Dilanian, Shamar Walters, Rima Abdelkader, Caitlin Fichtel, Caroline Radnofsky and Brandy Zadrozny contributed.