IRAN - May 17 - Plane Crash.
Interior Ministry spokesman Jahanbakhsh Khanjani tells IRNA a plane
carrying 29 people, including Transport Minister Rahman Dadman and 7
members of the Majlis from Golestan province, has crashed in heavy rain
between the eastern cities of Kashmar and Neishabour in Khorasan
province (about 710 km east of Tehran). The plane, a Russian YAK-40, was
operated by Faraz Qeshm Airlines and had 11 crew members on board.
Khanjani does not confirm the deaths, but another Interior Ministry
official, who requested anonymity, says all on board have been killed.
The head of the Civil Aviation Organisation Behzad Mazaheri said there
were 32 people on board. The discrepancy could not be immediately
explained. It is not clear why the plane was flying 400 km east of its
intended destination. (Dadman, who was appointed to the cabinet in Jan.
2001, was a reformist and supporter of Pres. Khatami. Most of the
legislators were reformists as well. The deaths are not expected to
affect the political balance in the Majlis, where reformists hold an