Boeing Won't Get Black Box From Iran After 737 Crash

Involvement of US, Canada and Ukraine in investigation isn't clear
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2020 4:10 PM CST
Iran Refuses to Give Boeing Black Box for Investigation
In Borispil airport near Kyiv, Ukraine, mourners visit a memorial for the crew of the Ukrainian 737-800 plane that crashed on the outskirts of Tehran on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Even as the leaders of Canada and Ukraine pledged Wednesday to find the cause of the 737-800 crash that killed 176 people near Tehran, Iran announced that it would not turn over the airliner's flight recorders to Boeing. "We will not give the black boxes to the manufacturer and the Americans," the head of Iran's aviation authority said. "It's not yet clear which country the black box will go to for the investigation." Iran will conduct an investigation, the Guardian reports, and officials said Ukraine representatives "can also be present." International rules make the investigation the responsibility of Iran, per CNN. But the plane was registered and operated out of Ukraine, and it was designed and built in the US, so both countries are supposed to be involved in the investigation.

The victims included 63 of his countrymen, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government would work to make sure that "Canadians’ questions are answered." Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said: "Our priority is to establish the truth and those responsible for this terrible catastrophe." The US offered help and urged cooperation. Iran and Ukraine first said they suspect a mechanical problem is to blame but then changed their positions. The crash took place just hours after Iran's missile strikes in Iraq, but an independent expert said he saw no evidence the plane was shot down. The pilot was experienced. "It was one of the best planes we had, with an amazing, reliable crew," said the head of Ukraine International Airlines, adding, "It is impossible that there were mistakes by the crew." (Airlines have changed routes that had crossed Iran and Iraq.)

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