Iran finds wreckage of plane that crashed with 65 on board

Iran's state media says search and rescue teams have reached the site of a plane crash that authorities say killed all 65 people on board.

Plane went down in mountainous region at 3,500 metres

Members of an emergency and rescue team search for the plane that crashed in a mountainous area of central Iran. (Tasnim News Agency/Reuters)

The wreckage of an Iranian plane that crashed with 65 people on board on Sunday was found in central Iran, state media reported.

The deputy governor of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province was quoted by state media as saying on Monday that the wreckage was found near Dengezlu city, in Semirom county, in Isfahan province. 

Aseman Airlines said all on board the flight were killed, including six crew members

The alrliner's twin-engine turboprop ATR 72, used for short-distance regional flights, went down Sunday in foggy weather, crashing into Mount Dena at a height of 3,500 metres.

Bad weather had hampered the search for wreckage after Sunday's plane crash. (Tasnim News Agency/Reuters)

Cold weather, snow, high winds and mountainous terrain had hampered the search for the aircraft, which was coming from Tehran when it disappeared from radar screens, 50 minutes into its journey to the southwestern city of Yasuj.

Helicopters and mountain rescue personnel from the armed forces and the Red Crescent, as well as local volunteers, were involved in the search. State radio said five helicopters and five drones are dispatched.

The ATR-72 was just over 24 years old. According to data cited by the Flight Safety Foundation's aviation-safety.net website, it had been restored to service just three months ago after being in storage for six years.

Planemaker ATR said the cause of the accident was not yet known. Based in the French city of Toulouse, ATR is a joint venture between Airbus and Italy's Leonardo.

Iran has suffered several plane crashes in the past few decades. Tehran blames U.S. sanctions for preventing it from importing new aircraft or spare parts. 

A deal with world powers on Iran's nuclear program has lifted some of those sanctions, opening the way for Iranian airlines to update their fleets.

Aseman signed a deal last year to buy at least 30 Boeing 737 MAX jets. National carrier Iran Air has ordered 80 planes from Boeing and 100 from Airbus.

A Boeing 727 plane crashed in northwestern Iran in 2011, killing 78 people, and a Caspian Airlines Tupolev bound for Armenia crashed in 2009, killing 168.

In February 2003, an Ilyushin-76 troop carrier crashed in southeast Iran, killing all 276 Revolutionary Guard soldiers and crew.

With files from The Associated Press