A Ukrainian International Airlines flight with 180 passengers and crew onboard crashed just after takeoff from Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport early Wednesday, en route to Kiev, Iranian state media reported. The Iranian news reports attributed the crash to unspecified mechanical problems, and civil aviation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh said a team of investigators is at the site of the wreckage. "The plane is on fire but we have sent crews," Pirhossein Koulivand, head of Iran's emergency services, told state TV, "and we may be able to save some passengers." Iran's Red Crescent later said there's no chance of finding survivors.
FlightRadar24 said the airliner appeared to stop sending data about two minutes into the flight.
Hours before the crash, Iran had fired more than a dozen missiles at Iraqi military bases that house U.S. and other allied forces. No U.S. casualties have been reported. There is no apparent connection between the two events, but the crash does contain elements from the largest news stories of 2019: U.S.-Iran hostilities, Ukraine, and Boeing's 737 — though this was a 737-800 jet, not the troubled 737 MAX, which has been grounded worldwide for 10 months.