Turkey's Erdogan offers condolences for plane crash

Turkey's Erdogan offers condolences for plane crash

The Bombardier Challenger 604, carrying Mina Basaran and seven of her friends from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to Istanbul, went down in southwestern Iran on Sunday.

Villagers said they saw flames coming from the plane's engine before the crash, according to a report by Iran's state-run judiciary news agency Mizan.

The plane was owned by a private holding company of her father, Turkish businessman Huseyin Basaran, and carried eight passengers and three crew, an official for Turkey's transport ministry said.

Mina Basaran was the eldest of his two children, and Mina Towers - one of Istanbul's biggest construction projects - was being handled by Basaran's company and was named after his daughter, CNN Turk reported.

The flight took off Sunday from Sharjah International Airport in the UAE, home to the low-priced carrier Air Arabia.

Reza Jafarzadeh, spokesman for Iran's Civil Aviation Organization, told state television the jet had crashed near the south-western city of Shahr-e Kord. The final photo on Mina Basaran's account showed the women at the One and Only Royal Mirage luxury hotel in Dubai, Turkish media reported.

Other victims included 28-year-old architect Zeynep Coskun, who also recently was engaged and would have married in the summer, Turkey's private Dogan news agency said.

The causes of both crashes aren't immediately available.

"Mina posted photos from the bachelorette party on social media, including a photo of herself boarding a plane while wearing a jean jacket with the words "#BetterTogether", "Mrs." and "Bride".

Finding the aircraft's "black box" will help investigators trying to piece together what happened.

The two female pilots were reportedly Beril Gebeş and Melike Kuvvet, who was one of the first female pilots in the Turkish armed forces but subsequently left to work in civil aviation.

Sunday's crash comes less than a month after an Iranian ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop used for short regional flights, crashed in southern Iran, killing all 65 people aboard.

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