Private plane crashes in Iran, killing socialite, her bachelorette party on board
A Turkish private jet flying a wealthy socialite and her bachelorette party from the United Arab Emirates to Istanbul crashed Sunday in heavy rain in a mountainous region of Iran, killing all 11 people on board, authorities said.
Citing the Turkey’s Transport Ministry, Reuters reported Mina Basaran, the 28-year-old daughter of Turkish businessman Huseyin Basaran, and seven of her friends, all flying back from a party ahead of her planned wedding next month were on board, perishing along with three crewmembers.
Iranian emergency management officials said all the passengers were young women, according to state television IRNA.
Mina Basaran, who is part of the company’s board of managers and was in line to run the business, recently posted photographs on Instagram of what appeared to be her bachelorette party in Dubai.
Among those photographs was an image of the plane posted three days ago.
In it, Basaran posed on the tarmac carrying flowers, wearing a denim jacket reading “Mrs. Bride” and the hashtag “#bettertogether.”
In another picture, she held heart-shaped balloons inside the plane.
A day ago, Basaran posted a picture with seven smiling friends from a Dubai resort. The last videos posted to her account showed her enjoying a concert by the British pop star Rita Ora at a popular Dubai nightclub.
Her father’s company, Basaran Investment Holding, is active in the food, finance, energy, construction, tourism and travel industries, according to the company’s website.
Reuters reported that one of the companies of Huseyin Basaran, a former deputy chairman of Trabzonspor football club, is the top shareholder in Bahrain Middle East Bank BSC, a small investment bank. His construction projects include a series of luxury apartment blocks in Istanbul called “Mina Towers,” named after his daughter.
Iranian state television quoted a spokesman for the country’s emergency management organization as saying the plane hit a mountain near Shahr-e Kord and burst into flames.
Shahr-e Kord is some 230 miles south of the capital, Tehran.
The spokesman, Mojtaba Khaledi, later told a website associated with state TV that local villagers had reached the site in the Zagros Mountains and found only badly burned bodies and no survivors.
He said DNA tests would be needed to identify the dead.
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 took off late Sunday afternoon and climbed to a cruising altitude of just over 35,000 feet.
A little over an hour later, it rapidly gained altitude and then dropped drastically within minutes, according to FlightRadar24, a flight-tracking website.
The flight took off from Sharjah International Airport, according to the General Civil Aviation Authority in the UAE. A private company that handles public relations for the Sharjah airfield, the home of low-cost airline Air Arabia, declined to comment. Sharjah is a neighboring emirate of Dubai.
Turkey’s private Dogan News Agency identified the plane as a Bombardier CL604, tail number TC-TRB.
Sunday’s crash came 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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.