The crash site of PS752: No one had a chance to survive

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The representatives of the working group which created after the disaster in Iran, if Ukraine had the opportunity to send a rescue squad to Tehran directly on the January 8 or not, why this did not happen? what was the picture at the site of the Accident? And how long the investigation can last? UA-Times answers.

Two weeks have passed since the crash of plane which flying to Kyiv from Tehran with flight PS752 and shot down a few minutes after takeoff. The Ukrainian crash investigation team continues to work. Official information on its progress results is reported only to the leadership.We found some details regarding what happened after the disaster and more.

“According to the ICAO international rules, the crash investigation is carried out by the authorities of the country in whose territory or in the airspace an emergency occurred,” says one of the members of the Ukrainian working group created after the crash.

So, only this country has the right to officially comment on the progress of the investigation, to publicize its interim and final results. Thus, in relation to this situation, priorities belong to Iran. As representatives of the Ukrainian side of the investigation.

we are instructed to coordinate with the Iranian authorities our media reports. Since there was no such agreement, all that we can share is reliable information, but not official.

The ten difficult questions

We were interested in whether a Ukrainian passenger plane was accidentally shot down or intentionally, as a result of which 176 people were killed. What evidence is there for anyone to have a chance to survive? Why did the Ukrainian side speak about the tragedy after the President of the USA and Canada made their statements?
In anonymous mode, some of these questions were agreed to be answered by members of the Ukrainian working group to investigate the circumstances of the disaster. They asked for answers in a statement, without verbatim quotation.

1. When did the Ukrainian authorities knows about the tragedy ?

The first information was obtained from TV news an hour and a half after the tragedy.
It took some time to clarify, double-check and confirm data on the plane’s ownership, the number of passengers and crew on board, their citizenship, a possible cause of the crash, and other circumstances. Messages were reported to the president and other officials, who at that time were outside of Ukraine.
About 12:00 Kyiv time, the operational headquarters was created, headed by the NSDC Secretary Alexey Danilov.

2. Why didn’t the Ukrainian rescue squad fly off to Tehran immediately?

The group, which included representatives of the State Emergency Service, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Ministry of Defense, the Security Service of Ukraine, the Foreign Intelligence Service, planned to fly to Tehran on the same day, January 8, at 18.00. Despite the organizational difficulties, financing issues were promptly resolved – on a bank card of each of the group’s 45 members, business trips were listed, visa support was provided.
At first, the whole group was sent to Tehran by scheduled air flights through Istanbul or Baku. The air force allocated the military transport Il-76TD with an experienced crew, and the cost of the road was significantly reduced. However, the Iranian authorities for a long time did not give the Ukrainian side permission to fly. The reason is not explained. Sending had to be postponed first until 22.00, then until 2.00 on January 9th.

Крушение Boeing-737 авиакомпании МАУ в Иране / фото en.irna.ir
The crash of Boeing-737 airlines UIA in Iran / Photo en.irna.ir

3. What was at the crash site?

The picture was depressing. Contrary to international rules for crash investigation, the territory on which the wreckage of the UIA Boeing was still burning and smoking, was not cordoned off in a timely manner, and was not taken under guard by the Iranian law enforcement forces and the military.

Because of this, anyone can get access to the site, including to hand luggage and baggage could easily get into it. It cannot be ruled out that a lot of valuable was stolen.

Upon arrival, our Unit was not immediately allowed to proceed with rescue operations. There was no one to save by that time. Heavily damaged, destroyed and burnt fragments of the aircraft scattered at a great distance from each other. When our experts obtained permission to inspect the crash site, the Iranians had already collected the remains of the victims, packed them in black plastic bags and delivered to the morgues.

4. There was identification of the remains?

In Iran, it was carried out on the basis of a comparative analysis of DNA studies of the remains of the victims and samples taken from relatives, However not all agreed to be tested.

To clarify whether it was possible to identify the bodies in just a few days, the members of our group answer in the affirmative. And they refer to the fact that its results were confirmed by an experienced forensic expert who was part of the group. He is legally responsible for the accuracy and consistency of the information received and officially documented.

5. Who will decrypt flight recorders?

The decision depends on the Iranian side. An American-made Boeing was shot down by two military missiles from the ground by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, allegedly a Russian-made Tor-M1 anti-aircraft missile system.

The key task at the moment is the decoding of the aircraft’s flight recorders. Tehran changed its plans several times, declaring mutually exclusive options for these works.  Now the Iranians are studying the possibilities of Ukraine, and if they are convinced that on the basis of the Sikorsky KPI “black boxes” can be decrypted, then they will give them to us.

If there is no such confidence, they will retain it or transfer it to a third country, for example, France.

Iranian representatives arrived in Kyiv studying this issue . At the time of preparing the material, and it still open …

6. Why the reaction of Ukraine was slow?

By the day on January 10, representatives of the Ukrainian group had a clear idea that the Boeing had been shot down,This was evidenced by the nature of the damage to the fuselage, numerous holes from fragments on the outside of the skin and inside …
However, the group did not release the results until theTehran pleaded guilty to what happened. According to our interlocutors, the premature statements of Ukraine could negatively affect cooperation with the Iranian authorities, although they already understood that it would not be possible to hide the obvious. The National Security and Defense Council had all necessary information from the USA and Canada, but did not disclose it, so as not to harm the further participation in the investigation of our specialists who remained in Tehran.

7. Crashed intentionally or mistake?

Before the flight PS752 take off, and after the crash, Tehran Airport worked as usual, sending and receiving aircraft of various airlines. Does this mean that the Iranian military was hunting for the Ukrainian Plane?
The Negotiations with Iran would help confirm or deny this version. However, our experts are not allowed to decipher them. To date, there is no information about the existence of such a ”radio exchange”.
Also Negotiations would help to understand the Iranian fault to not closing the airspace.
It is also necessary to find out the date and circumstances of the delivery to Iran of a medium-range Tor-M1 anti-aircraft missile system, It is still unknown when the Russia sold this air defense system, whether the UN embargo on the sale of arms and military equipment to a problematic country had already been introduced.

8.Will Iran pay compensations?

After Iran pleaded guilty to the downed plane and the death of 176 people, the likelihood of voluntary (out-of-court) compensation for material and moral damage is quite high.

They include compensation to the families of the victims, payments for a fairly new aircraft, received by UIA directly from the manufacturer, large insurance amounts … International practice calls the figures for one-time payments for each victim of a plane crash – from $ 137 thousand to $ 200 thousand, it is just a matter of time

9. How long will the investigations last?

A technical investigation can last up to a year. As for the criminal, the investigation and transfer of the case to the courts sometimes takes much longer, For example flight MH-17, the court in the Netherlands will only begin to consider in March, after sixth year of the crash of the Malaysian Boeing 777 in the sky of Donbas. Again, it will depend on the Iranian authorities and their desire to show the truth.

10. Will the crash knock down Ukrainian aviation?

The tragedy in Iran will make a temporary cessation of flights there and to neighboring Iraq will seriously complicate the situation with passenger traffic from Ukraine to the Near and Middle East, as well as to Central and Southeast Asia.
Due to the closure of airspace over problematic regions, Ukrainian airlines are already forced to adjust and reduce their routes, since overflights require intermediate landings for refueling and, accordingly, the cost of air tickets and an increase in travel time.

Of course, difficulties cannot be avoided. But the catastrophe that happened, whatever some experts say about its devastating consequences, will not land and ruin Ukrainian civil aviation.

We will keep up our investigation

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