Joyful weekend comes to tragic end in Iranian mountains

Joyful weekend comes to tragic end in Iranian mountains
By Robert Hackwill
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A young Turkish bride-to-be has been killed along with several of her closest friends in a plane crash that killed 11 people.


Investigators on Monday found the "black box" from a Turkish private jet that crashed in an Iranian mountain range on its way from the United Arab Emirates to Istanbul, killing all 11 people on board.

The passengers likely included a Turkish bride-to-be and her bachelorette party.

Authorities have so far recovered 10 bodies from the crash site in the Zagros Mountains outside of the city of Shahr-e Kord, some 370 kilometres, (230 miles), south of Iran's capital, Tehran, according to a report by the state-run IRNA news agency.

Heavy rains and wind in the mountain range since the crash on Sunday made it impossible for helicopters to land in the area, though officials hoped to bring the bodies down from the mountain later in the day, IRNA said.

Families of the victims arrived on Monday in Shahr-e Kord, accompanied by Turkish diplomats, IRNA reported.

The flight took off Sunday from Sharjah International Airport in the UAE, home to the low-cost carrier Air Arabia.

A little over an hour into the flight, the aircraft rapidly gained altitude and then dropped drastically within minutes, according to FlightRadar24, a flight-tracking website.

It remains unclear what caused the crash, though a witness told state television the Bombardier CL604 was on fire before it hit the mountain.

Sharjah civil aviation authorities said in a statement late on Sunday night that the plane's eight passengers were six Turks and two Spaniards.

Three others were the flight crew.

The flight likely carried Mina Basaran, the 28-year-old daughter of the chairman of Basaran Investment Holding, and her friends who had celebrated her bachelorette party in nearby Dubai.

Turkey's Transport Ministry said the aircraft belonged to Basaran Investment Holding, which The Associated Press has not been able to reach since the crash.

Basaran recently posted photographs on the photo-sharing app Instagram of what appeared to be her bachelorette party, which included eight women.

Iranian authorities previously said the flight's passengers were all young women.

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