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16 Jul, 2009 21:44

Mourning for plane crash victims

Iran and Armenia are mourning the victims of the Caspian Airlines flight which crashed in northern Iran on Wednesday, killing all 168 on board.

The doomed flight’s black boxes have been recovered and could hold clues to the cause of the tragedy that happened just 16 minutes into the flight to Armenia's capital, Yerevan.

Caspian Airlines are flying 54 relatives of the victims to Teheran to help identify the dead. Some of the relatives are still coming to terms with their loss.

“I still had hope yesterday that I would see my cousin again, but now all hope has disappeared,” Dina Sargisyan, a victim’s relative told RT.

24 year-old Sora Deravanesyan lost his father in the plane crash. His father was a prominent figure in Armenia – the director of the local branch of the Red Cross. Now, Sora has been left in charge of his entire family.

“I came directly to the airport because my sister was waiting for my father. Then I gathered my family, everybody had collapsed. I was holding myself together, but really, I’m heartbroken,” he confessed to RT.

This was the sentiment echoed by many of those relatives of the crash victims who were preparing to board a flight to Iran.

The national flags in the Armenian capital of Yerevan have been lowered in a sign of national mourning and respect.

Meanwhile, the official investigation of the crash is still underway. It remains unclear what caused the plane to nose dive in a field in northwest Iran. However, according to some eyewitnesses, one of the plane’s engines caught fire, but this hasn’t been confirmed.

Flight recorders from the aircraft have been recovered, but some are said to have been badly damaged and it is, therefore, still not know if they will shed any light on the tragedy.