Ukarain aircraft
General view of the debris of the Ukraine International Airlines, flight PS752, Boeing 737-800 plane that crashed after take-off from Iran's Imam Khomeini airport, on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran January 8, 2020 is seen in this screen grab obtained from a social media video via REUTERS

A Ukrainian aircraft which crashed earlier this week in Iran had flown close to a sensitive military site belonging to the elite Revolutionary Guards and was shot down unintentionally due to human error, the Iranian military said in a statement read on state TV on Saturday, January 11. 

All 176 people on board died when Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 went down near Tehran on Wednesday, shortly after Iran launched missiles at US forces in Iraq in response to the killing of a top Iranian general in a US drone strike in Baghdad.

'Responsible parties would be held accountable'

The responsible parties would be referred to a judicial department within the military and held accountable, the statement said. All 176 people on board were killed in the crash. The Iranian military statement expressed condolences to the families of the victims.

The United States and Canada had said that the plane was shot down, a claim Iran had initially denied.

Over 176 onboard killed after Ukrainian aircraft crashes in Iran 

Qasem Soleimani funeral
People attend the funeral procession of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani.Reuters

All 176 people on board a passenger plane were killed when the aircraft crashed a few minutes after taking off from Iran's Imam Khomeini on Wednesday, January 8, due to technical snags. The plane was bound for the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. The Boeing 737 belonging to Ukraine International Airlines took off at 6.12 am local time and crashed about eight minutes later.

"The fire is so heavy that we cannot (do) any rescue... we have 22 ambulances, four bus ambulances and a helicopter at the site," Pirhossein Koulivand, head of Iran's emergency services, told state television. According to air tracking service FlightRadar24, the aircraft that crashed was Flight PS 752 and was flying to Kyiv. The plane was three years old and was a Boeing 737-NG, it said. 

Reza Jafarzadeh, a spokesman for Iran's Civil Aviation Organization, told state television that the number of passengers onboard the flight was 176.