New Delhi, Feb 18: Iranian passenger plane with 66 people on board that crashed in central Iran on Sunday were believed to have been killed, Aseman Airlines retracted the death toll statement. Also Read - Mike Pompeo Visits Israel to Discuss West Bank Annexation, Political Tensions With Iran

Aseman public relations chief, Mohammad Tabatabaie, said that given the special circumstances of the region, we still have no access to the spot of the crash and therefore we cannot accurately and definitely confirm the death of all passengers of this plane. Also Read - COVID-19: Air Force Evacuates 180 Indians Stranded in Iran, Flies Them to Srinagar For Quarantine

The Aseman Airline’s Tehran-Yasuj flight, which took off from Mehrabad International Airport in Tehran on Sunday morning, disappeared from the radars within 50 minutes and crashed near Semirom city in the Padena mountain in southern Isfahan province, the chief of Iran’s emergency said. Also Read - Give Full Refund For Flight Tickets Cancelled Due to Lockdown: Aviation Ministry Tells Airlines

The ATR-made plane was on a flight to the southwestern city of Yasuj and a spokesman for the airline said there were 60 passengers and six crew members aboard.

A helicopter sent by Iran’s national emergency services was unable to land at the site of the accident due to severe weather.

Mehrabad is located in western Tehran and mainly functions as a domestic airport, although it also serves some international routes.

Iran has suffered several plane crashes in the past few decades. Tehran says US sanctions have long prevented it from buying new aircraft or spare parts from the West. Aseman currently has a fleet of 36 planes – half of them 105-seat Dutch Fokker 100s.

Its three Boeing 727-200s are almost as old as the Islamic revolution, having made their first flights in 1980. Lifting sanctions on aviation purchases was a key clause in the nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers in 2015.