A Turkish business jet carrying eight passengers and three crew members crashed into a mountain in central Iran on Sunday, killing all on board, the Iranian authorities said.
The plane was carrying the daughter of a Turkish tycoon and seven of her friends on their way back to Turkey, the Turkish news media reported, just days after the jet took them to her bachelorette party in Dubai.
Turkey’s Transport Ministry said the plane belonged to Basaran Holding, which does business in sectors including construction, food, energy and finance, and is led by Huseyin Basaran.
His daughter, Mina Basaran, 28, had traveled to the United Arab Emirates to celebrate her coming wedding next month. She was part of the company’s board of managers and in line to run the business, according to The Associated Press.
Shortly before the plane dropped off the radar, the pilot requested to fly at a lower altitude, Iran’s Civil Aviation Authority told local news media outlets. Images on social media showed a large plume of black smoke emerging from the Zagros Mountains near Shahr-e Kord in Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari Province.
Melike Kuvvet, the captain of the jet, was one of the first female pilots in the Turkish military, before she resigned and started to work in the private sector, Turkish news media reports said.
The bodies of the passengers and crew could not yet be identified, a spokesman for Iran’s emergency services, Shahin Fathi, was quoted as saying by Iranian news agencies. DNA tests will be conducted to identify the dead.
After the crash was reported, Mr. Basaran went to Iran, the Turkish news media reported.
Ms. Basaran was posting images of her trip to her popular Instagram account, which has more than 58,000 followers. The final photo posted shows her with seven female friends, smiling in pink and white robes. Another image showed her aboard the plane with a large bouquet of flowers.
One of Istanbul’s biggest construction projects, Mina Towers, being handled by her father’s company, is named after her. Ms. Basaran was also active in fashion, appearing in Vogue Turkey and on the cover of another Turkish fashion magazine, Grazia.
“We still don’t want to believe the news reports,” Levent Tuna, the general manager of Basaran’s construction company, told Hurriyet, a Turkish daily.
In February, a passenger aircraft carrying 66 people crashed during a blizzard into Mount Dena, near the Iranian city of Yasuj. Rescue operations took several days because of extreme weather conditions and insufficient preparedness by the emergency services.
Iran is a popular route for planes flying to the United Arab Emirates, as its airspace is much safer than that over other countries in the region like Iraq and Syria.