Ukraine International Airlines flight 752, a Boeing 737-800, crashed near Sabashahr, 7 minutes after takeoff from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, Iran. Al 167 passengers and nine crew members on board were killed.
The incident was the first fatal aviation incident for Ukraine International Airlines since the start of its operations in 1992.
The flight took off from runway 29R at 02:41 UTC (06:11 LT), with a delay of about one hour. After takeoff, the flight was cleared to climb to FL260 and instructed to contact Mehrabad ATC. Radar contact was then lost at 8000 feet at a position about 20 km west-northwest of the airport. The aircraft crashed minutes later near Sabashahr, 15 km north of the airport. It desintegrated completely and wreckage was strewn along a 300 m long path.
Initially, Iranian authorities had denied that they had shot down the plane, stating that there was a technical error with the plane. Ukrainian authorities, after initially deferring to Iran’s explanation, said a shootdown of the flight was one of their main working theories. American, Canadian and British officials stated that they believed the aircraft had been shot down by a missile Russian-made launched by IRAN Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Iran stated on January 11 that the aircraft was shot down by a surface to air missile due to ‘human error’. Hours before the shootdown, Iran had attacked U.S. bases in Iraq. The missile was likely a 9K331 Tor-M1 missile, fire from a Tor missile system located at a base of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).