Iran plane crash: Ukraine exploring sabotage theories including passenger aircraft shot down using Russian Tor missile

  • Flight PS 752 collided with a drone or other flying objects

  • An explosion inside the plane as a result of a terrorist act, among possible scenarios Ukraine investigating

Ukraine has revealed that its investigation agencies will be probing several angels including the possibility that the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 was shot down by Iran using a Russian surface-to-air missile.

A statement issued by a Ukrainian top security official indicated that Kyiv was keen on exploring sabotage theories that indicate that the Ukrainian Airlines flight PS 752 was intentionally brought down.

The Boeing 737-800, operated by Ukraine International Airlines, took-off from Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran at 6:12 am on January 8 for Kyiv, and within eight minutes crashed not very far from the fence of the airport. [Watch Ukraine Flight 752 crash video]

plane crash

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine told a Ukranian news agency - - that a high-level investigation committee has already reach Tehran and is holding a high-level meeting with Iranian officials.

Did Iran use Russian Tor-M1 (SA-15 Gauntlet) Surface to Air Missile System?

The Ukranian investigators are keen on following up on unconfirmed reports that shrapnels of a Russian Tor surface-to-air missile were found on the debris of the UIA Boeing aircraft.

In the meantime, Ukraine has said that it was negotiating with Iran to allow the investigators to search the crash site near Tehran for possible rocket fragments.

Since the beginning there have been speculations that Iran mistakenly may have shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane.

Tor missile

In 2007, Iran was given 29 TOR-M1 Mobile Air Defense Systems under a $700 million deal by Russia. The TOR-M1, a surface-to-air high-precision missile system designed to destroy aircraft, manned or unmanned, and cruise missiles flying at an altitude of around 6 miles (10 kms).

Drone or UAV collision

The Ukranian investigators also are discussing a theory that Flight 752 may have crashed due to a collision with a drone or any other flying object.

Aviation experts suggest that drone crashes are more dangerous than bird crashes. Researchers have found that when a bird crashes into an aircraft they do significant and dangerous damage to the wing. The damage but is often external and does not affect the structure of the wing.

But in the event of a drone crash, it also destroys the main spar of the wing inside.

plane crash bodies

An explosion inside the plane as a result of a terrorist act

Ukraine has revealed that it is also looking at the possibility that the plane may have been brought down by a terrorist who detonated a bomb inside the plane. Iran is quite familiar with this scenario.

Recently, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was accused of threatening America with a veiled threat about the Lockerbie terrorist attack of 1988 which saw a bomb destroy Pan Am flight 103 over Scotland killing 270 - months after the downing of Iranian flight 655.

Technical glitch

Iran since the crash has maintained that the UIA passenger plane had crashed due to a technical glitch that led to the engine of the Boeing aircraft catching fire and crashing on January 8. In the latest development, Iran, which earlier had refused to hand over the black box, now has revealed that the flight recorder was damaged in the crash.

In the meantime, Ukraine has sent in a 45-member team, representing 12 ministries and agencies of the country to investigate the crash. The investigation commission comprises experts who were part of the team that probed the downing of the Malaysian plane on July 17, 2014. The team had then concluded a Russian anti-aircraft missile "Buk" had shot down the Malaysian aircraft.