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15 killed as Boeing 707 jet crashes into residential neighborhood in Iran

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Iranian Boeing 707 cargo aircraft which crashed on Monday into a residential area, while trying to land west Tehran. According to the Iranian authorities, 15 of the 16 people on board of decades-old aircraft were killed.

The airplane, that belonged to Iranian air force’s Saha civilian airline, was attempting to make emergency landing around 8:30am Monday at Fath Airport controlled by Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

The aircraft skidded off the runway, smashed through a perimeter fence and crashed into a residential neighborhood.

Iranian state television aired images of smoke-charred homes and the fuselage of the aircraft lying on the ground in the neighborhood. Nearby was one of its land gear, torn away. Small fires burned around it.

The plane was meant to land at the nearby Payam International Airport, about 40km (25 miles) west of Tehran, the Iranian capital.

Authorities did not immediately offer a reason for the crew’s decision to land there.

Fath is some 10km southwest of Payam. Its runway is some 1,100-metres (3,600-feet) long, compared to Payam’s 3,600 meters.

According to Iranian media reports, nine bodies from the crash had already been recovered.

Iran’s air force said in a statement that the cause of the crash and the fate of the crew is under investigation.

It wasn’t immediately clear who owns the plane, though General Shahin Taghikhani, an army spokesman, told state television the plane and its crew were Iranian.

Saha Airlines operated one of the world’s last commercial flights of the Boeing 707, which was first manufactured in 1958 and helped usher in the jet age. The four-engine, narrow-body aircraft were built before 1979.