Iran: Armenian bloggers on plane crash

When a regular flight en route from Tehran to Yerevan crashed after takeoff yesterday, killing all 168 on board, many in Armenia and its Diaspora were distressed, and not least since there were 40 ethnic Armenians among the dead. Ianyan provides the background to why Armenians were so concerned.

A Russian-built Caspian Airlines plane crashed in Iran headed for Yerevan, Armenia on Wednesday after it caught on fire in mid-air and killed all 168 people on board when it collided into farmland near the city of Qazvin, just 16 minutes after take off.

Eight members of Iran’s youth judo team and many Armenians were among those killed, included two who were part of the flight crew. Iran is home to around 100,000 ethnic Armenians who usually fly between the two bordering countries to visit relatives.

Select details from local and international news reports were quickly spread by many on Twitter and Facebook, one of the most prolific being @unzippedblog.

Most comments on social networks and blog posts in the LiveJournal blogging community on the crash in Armenia were obviously limited to information taken from newswires and other media outlets.

However, Iranian-Armenian blog ՏՐԱՄԱԳԻԾ [AM] not only posted photographs of the accident, but also Armenian-language translations of Iranian state TV reports.

The “Tupalov” airplane took off Tehran international airport and crashed 16 minutes later near Khazin area. […] Republic's president Ahmadinejad just spoke, conveying condolences and demanding those responsible, to conduct detailed investigations and find out the reasons of the crash and report back as soon as possible.

In another post, the blogger detailed one Armenian citizen, Harutyun Khalghatian, who was late for the flight.

Harutyun Khalghatian, 44 was visiting Tehran on business and was visiting Tehran and was saved by a miracle. In an interview with Khalghatian's friend…. we found out that he had a party last night, because of which he woke up late and couldn't make it to the flight.

Լճակ [RU] provided links and updates to news on the crash, while veteran dissident journalist-blogger Mark Grigorian offered his own opinion on the use of antiquated planes.

Time to hand out all the Soviet planes as scrap metal, ” adding in the comments section:

Sadly, the soviet planes have worn out not only physically, but also morally. This particular machine, I guess, is a morally worn out one.

@Unzippedblog tweeted the question on everybody's mind:

Why on earth #Iran still uses that ancient Russian plane TY-154! They should be banned. #armenia #yerevan.

He posted an answer in a later tweet.

BBC confirmes that poor air safety record in #Iran is due to sanctions imposed by US. #armenia #yerevan

Если бы можно было жить в море… [RU] who blame the US embargo on Iran for the crash.

God give piece to their soal… there were two kids. They say catastrophes are frequent in Iran, because of the embargo which doesn't let them update the plane fleets and they mostly have TU's and old American jets.

Others, such as Words Blog, recounted how relatives knew some of those that died.

“There were two air-technicians in the plain who worked for the Caspian. I didn't know them, but my mother and aunt worked with them.”

Was in the airport today… it hurts…wrote 517 Design [RU], a blogger and photographer back from Yerevan's airport with an accompanying photo.

Iran-Armenia Plain Crash
© PanARMENIAN Photo / Sedrak Mkrtchyan


  • bridget

    I have been hearing about the plane crash as it was a tragedy so distant from home and sad to find out one of the lost lives in this tragedy was a beloved gas station owner from Tustin California. Today I found out that the gas station that I and many other Tustin residents have visited would feel the loss of the this far distant tragedy. The owner who was loved by almost anyone who stepped
    foot into his gas station/ marketplace was among the 168 lives lost in the plane crash. the owner not only made sure you felt welcomed but he also made sure that if he could he would know you by your first name. I live 1 block from the gas station for a year now and not one day did go by if i visited the gas station that he would not only always remember my name but also my regular shopping needs. Not only did his customers love him but his employees loved him even more. One in particular said that with this tragedy he lost a good friend not a boss. I find it only justice to acknowledge him here in California since so many
    will miss his smile each day and his presence at the gas station. A tragedy that we just see as a world event will and has affected many here in southern California, because we lost a beloved gas station owner who made us feel at home and welcomed at his establishment.

  • […] Papyan from Global Voices has a great round up of posts and commentary from around the Armenian blogosphere’s reaction to the […]

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