Ukraine is currently investigating multiple possible causes of Wednesday’s deadly jetliner crash that killed 176 passengers and crew shortly after takeoff in Tehran.
Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council chief, Oleksiy Danilov, wrote on Facebook that a meeting is taking place Thursday with Iranian authorities, where various causes behind the crash are “being studied.”
These include the theory that the plane was hit by an anti-aircraft missile, Danilov wrote.
It’s still not clear what caused the crash and several explanations, including technical failure, have not been ruled out.
Other theories under consideration are whether the plane collided with a drone or “other flying object”; technical problems with the plane’s engine causing it to explode, or finally whether an explosion inside the plane was a terrorist act.
Authorities in Ukraine are not ruling out that one of the country’s planes, which crashed early on Wednesday in Iran killing all 176 passengers and crew, was brought down by a missile or an attack amid a sharp escalation of tension between Tehran and Washington.
The Ukrainian International airliner bound for the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, plunged from the sky minutes after takeoff from the Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran.
“We must investigate all possible causes,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on Facebook, shortly after Iranian officials said the crash was caused by a fire that struck one of the plane’s engines, causing the pilots to lose control.
Zelenskyy has ordered Ukrainian prosecutors to open an investigation into the crash.
Shortly before Zelenskyy’s announcement, Ukraine’s embassy in Iran removed a statement that ruled out the attacks from its website, Ukrainian media reported.
“Until the official investigation is over, naming any version would be manipulation,” Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk told a news conference in response to a question about the possibility of a missile or attack on the plane.