TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Seyed Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi on Thursday called for a rapid and thorough probe into the possible causes behind the crash of a passenger plane in northwestern Iran that claimed 168 lives.
The Caspian Airlines Tupolev-154 caught fire in mid-air en route to Armenia and plunged into farmland on Wednesday, killing all 153 passengers and 15 crew in the worst air disaster in Iran in years.
Witnesses said the plane was ablaze before smashing into the ground and exploding near a village near the northwestern city of Qazvin shortly after take-off from Tehran.
Shahroudi stressed that probing the issue by the respective officials is necessary and will sooth the pain and agony of the bereaved families.
He also expressed condolences to the bereaved families, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution and the people of Iran on the sad accident.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered a transport ministry probe into the disaster, the third major plane crash in the world in six weeks.