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.
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 http://bit.ly/BpFW9 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.
© PanARMENIAN Photo / Sedrak Mkrtchyan