Ukraine unsure about Iranian claim ‘human error’ led to downing of airliner

Ukraine unsure about Iranian claim ‘human error’ led to downing of airliner

Ukraine said on Tuesday it was too early to conclude that a Kiev-bound passenger plane was shot down by Iran in January because of human error as Tehran has claimed.

Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was hit by two missiles and crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran’s main airport on January 8 amid heightened US-Iran tensions.

Iran admitted several days later that it accidentally shot down the plane, killing all 176 people on board.

On Sunday, Iran’s civil aviation authority said the misalignment of an air defense unit’s radar system was the key “human error” that led to the accidental downing of the jet.

But Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said: “I want to emphasize clearly that it is too early to state that the plane was shot down due to human error.”

Soldiers carry a coffin of one of the eleven Ukrainian victims of the Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 plane disaster during a memorial ceremony outside Kiev. January 19, 2020. (File photo: Reuters)Soldiers carry a coffin of one of the eleven Ukrainian victims of the Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 plane disaster during a memorial ceremony outside Kiev. January 19, 2020. (File photo: Reuters)

He said conclusions should be drawn “within the framework of an investigation”, adding that “all the facts should be established”.

Last month French aviation investigators said they would take the jet’s black box recorders from Iran and begin studying them on July 20.

Ukraine has said it would send experts to help with the work and suggested the findings from Paris would be reliable.

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