An Iranian official has cited a “technical defect” in the crash of a Ukrainian airliner near Iran’s capital Tehran on Wednesday.
Transport Minister Mohammed Eslami rejected speculation about a “suspicious” crash, the Iranian news agency Isna reported on Thursday.
“The plane caught fire due to a technical defect and this resulted in a crash,” Eslami said.
All 176 passengers and crew on board the Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737 passenger jet died when it crashed Wednesday shortly after take-off in a field near Tehran.
Both black boxes have been found and are being investigated by Iranian aviation experts.
The public prosecutor’s office in Tehran has confirmed that the remains of all passengers have been brought to forensics experts.
Both the black boxes – which record key flight data – and passengers’ remains are to be handed over to Ukrainian authorities, the minister added.