0359 GMT February 25, 2021
The Turkish jet, identified by Turkish media as a Bombardier CL604, crashed in the Zagros Mountains outside the city of Shahr-e Kord and some 370 kilometers south of Iran’s capital, Tehran, on Sunday evening, Press TV reported.
Ten bodies have been recovered so far. But heavy rain and wind at the crash site initially made it impossible for helicopters to land in the area and bring the bodies down.
Families of the victims arrived Monday in Shahr-e Kord, accompanied by Turkish diplomats, IRNA reported.
The cause of the crash remains unknown. It had taken off from Sharjah International Airport in the UAE on Sunday and a little over an hour into the flight, it rapidly had gained altitude before rapidly plunging within minutes, according to FlightRadar24, a flight-tracking website.
Sharjah civil aviation authorities said in a statement late Sunday night that the plane’s eight passengers were six Turks and two Spaniards. There were also three crew members.
“The plane did not apply for maintenance procedures while on the ground of the airport,” their statement said.
According to reports, all on board were women, including the crew.
They were the seven hen party guests who perished along with a Turkish socialite bride-to-be when her private jet crashed in Iran.
Heiress Mina Basaran, 28, had jetted her friends out to Dubai for a weekend-long hen-do, and the plane went down as the group were returning to Istanbul, Turkey on Sunday.
The guests have been identified as Zeynep Coşkun, Ayşe And, Burcu Urfalı, Aslı İzmirli, Liana Hananel, Jasmin Baruh and Sinem Akay.
The flight likely carried Mina Basaran, the 28-year-old daughter of the chairman of Basaran Investment Holding.
Turkey’s Transport Ministry said the aircraft belonged to her father’s company.
The party was also intended for three of the other women, due to be married this summer. Several of the women, like Mina, had successful careers in the fashion industry.
Turkish media reported that at least one of the victims was pregnant, AFP reported.
Photographs reprinted from social media showed the women lounging at a resort at the UAE and posing with the two pilots inside the plane.
The two female pilots were reportedly Beril Gerbes and Melike Kuvvet, who was one of the first female pilots in the Turkish armed forces but left and worked in civil aviation.
Villagers near the crash say they saw flames coming from the plane's engine before the crash, according to a report by Iran's state-run judiciary news agency Mizan, Daily Mail reported.
“The plane is on fire. After the pilot asked to lower altitude, it disappeared from the radar,” Tasnim quoted an ICAO official as saying.
“The wreck of the jet and the bodies are found. They will be carried down from the mountain when sun comes up. My condolences to those who lost their loved ones,” the head of humanitarian organization Turkish Red Crescent Kerem Kinik, said on Twitter.