A Turkish private jet flying from the United Arab Emirates to Istanbul carrying a group of young women has crashed in a mountainous region of Iran during heavy rain, killing all 11 people on board, authorities said.
The doomed aircraft days earlier carried a hen party bound for Dubai.
Iranian state television quoted Mojtaba Khaledi, spokesman for the country’s emergency management organisation, as saying the plane hit a mountain near Shahr-e Kord and burst into flames.
Shahr-e Kord is 230 miles south of the capital, Tehran.
Khaledi later told a website associated with state TV that local villagers had reached the site in the Zagros Mountains and found only badly burned bodies and no survivors.
He said DNA tests would be needed to identify the dead.
Villagers near the crash earlier said they saw flames coming from the plane’s engine, according to a report by Iran’s state-run judiciary news agency Mizan.
The plane reached a cruising altitude of just over 35,000 feet, according to FlightRadar24, a flight-tracking website.
At about 6.01pm (14.31 GMT), something appears to have gone wrong with the flight as it rapidly gained altitude and then dropped drastically within minutes, data published by the website showed.
The General Civil Aviation Authority in the UAE said the flight took off from Sharjah International Airport on its way to Istanbul.
Sharjah is a neighbouring emirate of Dubai.
Turkey’s private Dogan News Agency identified the plane as a Bombardier CL604, tail number TC-TRB.
Turkey’s Transport Ministry said the plane belonged to a company named Basaran Holding.
Mina Basaran, the 28-year-old daughter of Basaran’s chairman who is part of the company’s board of managers and is in line to run the business, posted photographs on Instagram of what appeared to be her hen party in Dubai.
Among those photographs was an image of the plane posted three days ago.
In it, Basaran poses on the tarmac carrying flowers, wearing a denim jacket reading Mrs Bride and the hashtag “#bettertogether”.
In another picture, she holds heart-shaped balloons inside the plane.
One day ago, Basaran posted a picture with seven smiling friends from a Dubai resort.
The last videos posted to her account showed her and friends enjoying a concert by pop star Rita Ora at a popular Dubai nightclub.
There was no further activity on her account after that.
Iranian emergency management officials described all the passengers as being young women, according to IRNA.
Sunday’s crash comes after an Iranian ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop used for short-distance regional flying, crashed in southern Iran, killing all 65 people on board in February.