iran plane crash

U.S. officials say it's highly likely Iran shot down plane with anti-aircraft missile

Investigators are working to determine what caused the deadly crash of the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 yesterday. 

Initial assessments suspected the plane crashed due to a technical malfunction, but now investigators and aviation experts are studying possible alternate causes.

Ukraine's National Security and Defence council chief, Oleksiy Danilov, said a meeting was taking place with Iranian authorities, where various new causes behind the crash were being considered, including a theory that the plane was hit by an anti-aircraft missile, according to a statement on Facebook.

The statement cites other causes being considered including the possibility that there was a collision with another flying object, a collapse or explosion of the engine, or an explosion inside plane as result of a terrorist attack.

Danilov says the Ukrainian investigation into the crash incudes experts who participated in the investigation into the 2014 shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.

Ukraine also said on Thursday its investigators wanted to search the crash site for possible Russian missile debris.

The US increasingly believes that Iran mistakenly shot down the Ukrainian airliner on Wednesday, according to multiple US officials.

According to CNN, the working theory is based on continuing analysis of data from satellites, radar and electronic data collected routinely by US military and intelligence.

President Donald Trump on Thursday said he suspected the crash was not due to mechanical issues, indicating that "somebody could have made a mistake on the other side."

The Ukrainian International Airlines flight came down just minutes after takeoff from Tehran on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board, including 63 Canadians. 

New reports also cite that there was no radio communication from the pilot, and the aircraft disappeared from radar at 2,440 metres.

Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne,  said in a statement Thursday that he had a conversation with the Foreign Minister of Iran on Wednesday.

Champagne said he stressed that Canadian officials need to be quickly granted access to Iran to provide consular services and to aid in the investigation of the crash. 

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