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9 Jan, 2020 17:22

UK already looking into reports of ‘missile’ in Ukrainian Boeing crash in Tehran – Downing St

UK already looking into reports of ‘missile’ in Ukrainian Boeing crash in Tehran – Downing St

The UK government says it is looking into “very concerning” reports that the Ukrainian Boeing passenger airliner that crashed near Tehran this week, killing all 176 on board, may have been hit by a missile.

A Downing Street spokesman revealed that British PM Boris Johnson had sought to establish the facts of the disaster in a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday.

“The reports we have seen are very concerning and we are urgently looking into them.”

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The Boeing 737-800, operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport early Wednesday morning. Eyewitnesses have described seeing the aircraft engulfed in flames in the sky before it came down.

Johnson has said that there needs to be “a full, credible and transparent investigation into what happened,” according to his spokesman.

There is a body of information indicating the flight was shot down by an Iranian missile, Johnson claimed later on Thursday.

The remarks come after Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s Security Council, told Ukrainian media that officials were working on a number of theories regarding the crash, including that of a missile strike “as information has surfaced on the internet about elements of a missile being found near the site of the crash.” 

Ukraine had initially suggested that the crash was due to an engine fire or another technical issue, but later retracted the statement. President Zelensky cautioned the public against spreading conspiracy theories and speculating on what could have caused the crash – which has already been named the deadliest in the history of modern Ukraine.

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