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Choppers crash: 11 killed in Iran, 5 in NY

Tehran—Eleven women died when a private plane crashed in Iran while flying the daughter of a prominent Turkish businessman and her friends home from a bachelorette party, officials and media reports said.

Meanwhile, in New York, five people have died after a helicopter owned by a tour group plunged into Manhattan’s East River.

The Bombardier Challenger 604, carrying Mina Basaran and seven of her friends from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to Istanbul, went down in southwestern Iran on Sunday. Three crew, all women, were also on board.

CRASH VICTIM. Members of the Iranian Red Crescent carry a casket with the body of a victim of a Turkish plane that crashed a day earlier in Shahre Kord in southwestern Iran. All 11 people on board the private plane died in the incident, following the crash in the Zagros Mountains during a flight from Sharjah to Istanbul. AFP

Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization said the plane crashed at 6:09 p.m. (1439 GMT) on Sunday after the pilot had asked to descend due to a “technical problem.”

The business jet went down in the Zagros mountains, about 400 kilometers south of Tehran.

The aviation agency said six of the eight passengers were Turkish citizens and the other two Spanish.

Iranian news agency ISNA reported the bodies of all 11 on board had been found by rescue teams. The remains were being brought down from the mountainside by helicopter to the Shahr-e Kord airport in the local provincial capital.

Turkish media reported that Mina Basaran, the 28-year-old daughter of business tycoon Huseyin Basaran, had spent several days in the UAE with friends, celebrating ahead of her wedding next month.

A graduate of Istanbul’s Koc University, she had since 2013 been on the board of her father’s company, Basaran Holding, and was reportedly being groomed as his successor.

There was no immediate indication as to the cause of the crash.

The red chopper, which is owned by tourism group Liberty, was carrying six people including the pilot when it crashed into the river near the upscale Upper East Side neighborhood shortly on Sunday.

“Five people are deceased,” a New York Police Department spokesperson told AFP, saying the dead were all passengers on the helicopter. 

Following the crash, “the pilot freed himself, the other five did not,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro told reporters during an earlier press conference.

“We are told the five people were all tied tightly in harnesses that had to be cut and removed,” he said.

Liberty organizes aerial tours of America’s financial capital. Police chief James O’Neill said the aircraft had been leased by photographers. 

Topics: Air Crash , Iran , Tehran , Mina Basaran , Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization , Huseyin Basaran , Basaran Holding , New York Police Department , Liberty ,
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