Up to 77 dead in Iran plane crash as toll rises

January 10, 2011 08:57

TEHERAN, Iran  — Authorities on Monday raised the death toll in a plane crash in northwest Iran to as many as 77 as investigators searched for clues to what caused the aircraft to attempt a disastrous emergency landing.

The pilots of the Boeing-727, operated by Iran's national airline, reported a technical failure to the control tower before trying to make the emergency landing in a snowstorm Sunday night, state-run TV reported. The IranAir aircraft broke into several pieces, but Mahmoud Mozaffar, head of the rescue department of Iran's Red Crescent Society, said there was no explosion or fire.

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