Iran recovers 32 bodies from Sunday's plane crash

Iran recovers 32 bodies from Sunday's plane crash

Iran has located a passenger plane that crashed with 65 people on board, a military spokesman says, two days after it disappeared from radars over mountainous terrain.

The bodies of 32 passengers have so far been found and numerous remaining bodies are buried under ice and snow, state media reported.

After two days of heavy snow and fog, the weather finally cleared on Tuesday morning, allowing a helicopter crew to spot a piece of the wreckage with the company's logo.

"Considering the weather condition, helicopters can not land [in the area]".

The wreckage of the passenger plane was found Tuesday, with all people on board, comprising 59 passengers and 6 crew members, confirmed dead.

The chopper pilot who found the debris said the crash could be avoided if the plane was flying only 50 metres higher.

The site also was too risky for helicopters to land on it, forcing rescue crews to jump out the hovering aircraft, according to state TV footage.

A team of crash investigators from French air safety agency BEA was due to arrive in Iran later on Tuesday.

As many as 80 search-and-rescue teams have been tasked with recovering bodies from the crash site in Isfahan's Mount Dena region, according to the Iranian Red Crescent Society.

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An official at the Iran Civil Aviation Organisation said that the pilot had not declared an emergency situation and the plane's Emergency Locator Transmitter had not transmitted signals after the incident.

So far, 32 bodies have been discovered among the wreckage, said Mohsen Mehralizadeh, the governor of Ifsahan province, where the Dena range is located.

The professional mountaineers will carry the corpses down on Wednesday as it is impossible for the helicopters to land in the area, he added.

The spokesman said it had crashed into a mountain.

Bad weather had thwarted a recovery mission on Sunday when a rescue helicopter was forced to turn back.

Over the past two days, the global community, including Chinese, Russian, Turkish and United Nations leaders, has offered condolences to the victims and their families.

State television aired footage showing the plane crash site against the side of a snow-covered mountain near Yasuj, some 780 kilometers (485 miles) south of Tehran, Iran's capital from which the Aseman Airlines flight took off on Sunday.

Authorities hope to recover the aircraft's black box data recorders to establish what caused the crash.

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