TEHRAN,(Reuters) – A military aircraft with more than 90 people on board crashed into a densely populated district of Tehran and exploded, setting a 10-storey building ablaze, police and local news agencies said.
The state IRNA news agency said 10 bodies had been recovered from the crash site amid rescue efforts hampered by fire.
The C-130 transport plane had apparently been trying to make an emergency landing at Mehrabad international airport when it hit an apartment block in the Shahrak-e Towhid neighbourhood.
Witnesses told IRNA the whole building seemed to be ablaze.
"It is awful down here. I am suffocating," Red Crescent official Shahram Alamdari told Reuters by telephone from the scene, before hanging up.
The district is inhabited by members of the military and their families, and lies on the flightpath to Mehrabad airport.
IRNA said 94 people were on board the C-130. The semi-official Fars news agency put the number at 106.
The Fars agency quoted police as saying they feared the casualty toll would be heavy.
Military officials could not be reached for information.
In Iran”s last major military air disaster, an Iranian Ilyushin-76 troop carrier crashed in the southeast of the country on Feb. 19, 2003, killing all 276 Revolutionary Guard soldiers and crew aboard.