TEHRAN – Mountaineering teams located the black box flight data recorder belonging to the Iranian commercial aircraft that crashed on Feb. 18 in a mountainous region in the center of the country, killing 65 people, Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization confirmed on Sunday.
The CAO’s director for public relations, Reza Jafarzadeh, stated that mountaineers had found the black box a few days ago on the slopes of Dena Mountain, near the city of Yasuj in southwestern Iran.
“After legal procedures, it will be sent back to the Civil Aviation Organization,” he said, according to the official news agency IRNA.
All 59 passengers and six crew members were killed aboard the ATR-72 airplane, owned by Iranian carrier Aseman Airlines, while traveling from the capital Tehran to Yasuj.
The data contained in the black box may make it possible to clarify the causes of the accident, but its recovery was delayed for almost two weeks because of bad weather and the area’s difficult terrain.
The CAO’s official confirmation comes after an official from local crisis management announced on Saturday that the box had been found.
According to Iranian media, the official also announced that the mountaineers had found more bodies of the victims of the crash.
Iran has an outdated commercial air fleet due to years of international sanctions imposed on the country, with several serious accidents in the previous decade.