UN aviation experts to join Ukraine Airlines’ Iran crash investigation

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 15 (APP):Experts from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will support the investigation into the crash of a Ukrainian passenger plane in Iran on January 8, following an invitation from the Iranian authorities, which was accepted on Tuesday, the Montreal-based UN specialized agency announced.

In a statement, the ICAO said it has appointed senior and expert technical staff, who will now serve as advisors and observers.

Few details of Iran’s investigation have been released by the authorities, but Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, said in a televised address that it will be overseen by several experts, and that the judiciary will create a special court.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the country’s judiciary reportedly said that the investigation will look into the causes and direct impact of the incident.

Iran has admitted that Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752 was shot down by its armed forces and announced on Tuesday that several people have been detained over the incident which, it says, was accidental. All 176 people on board were killed in the crash.

The incident took place several hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile strike from home soil on US forces stationed in Iraq, in response to the US drone killing of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.

Initially, Iran denied responsibility for the crash, reportedly blaming it on a technical failure but eventually admitted that the operator of a missile defence system had mistaken the plane for a missile and shot it down.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was created in 1944 to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world.

It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, amongst many other priorities.

The Organization serves as the forum for cooperation in all fields of civil aviation among its 193 Member States.