AP : Four people were killed when a helicopter crashed in central Iran on Saturday, state-run television reported. AP :AP, Téhran, Iran – Four people were killed when a helicopter crashed in central Iran on Saturday, state-run television reported.
The helicopter crashed outside Najafabad, about 400 kilometers south of the capital Tehran, the television said.
The report said the cause of the crash was being investigated. It did not give further details.
Iran has frequent air accidents, blamed on its aging fleet of aircraft and poor maintenance. In January, a military flight carrying a commander of the country’s elite Revolutionary Guards and 10 others crashed, killing everyone on board. A month earlier, a military transport plane crashed into a building near Tehran’s airport, killing 115 people.
Critics have said the planes and helicopters are poorly maintained. The government has blamed the U.S. trade embargo, which makes it impossible for Iran to buy parts for its American-built aircraft.
Iranian airlines have tried to upgrade their fleet by buying European aircraft, but have been turned down amid U.S. pressure on Europe not to sell.
However, it does not have similar difficulty buying parts for its Russian planes. Iranian airlines have bought Russian craft in recent years, but usually secondhand ones to save money.
Western nations have offered to open the door to sales of new planes and spare parts in an incentive package aimed at getting it to roll back its nuclear program. Ahmadinejad has vowed never to give up the program.