Video reportedly shows Iranian missile hitting downed Ukrainian plane before it crashes
Video obtained and verified by The New York Times on Thursday showed an Iranian missile hitting an aircraft over the town of Parand near Tehran International Airport.
This is the same area where Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 stopped transmitting on Wednesday morning before it crashed, killing all 176 people on board. The video is likely to lend more weight to reports that the Ukrainian passenger plane was shot down.
The investigative journalism website Bellingcat tweeted the video and said that it had geolocated it to Parand.
By measuring the time that it took for the camera to hear the explosion, we estimated the distance of the event (red circle), and cross-referenced it with the geolocation of the video and the flight trajectory of #PS752 (taken from from FlightRadar24). pic.twitter.com/76vw5zyM6Z— Bellingcat (@bellingcat) January 9, 2020
The video showed that a small explosion happened when the plane was hit, but the plane itself did not explode until later. The New York Times said that the Boeing 737 plane had caught fire and tried to turn back to Tehran Airport before exploding and crashing.
Also on Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that his country had intelligence from multiple sources indicating that the Ukrainian plane was mistakenly shot down by Iran.
"We have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence. The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile," Trudeau told reporters.
"This may well have been unintentional," Trudeau added in a press conference.
63 Canadians were on board the ill-fated plane, as well as 82 Iranians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three Britons.
The crash took place just hours after Iran launched a volley of more than 20 missiles at two military bases housing US troops in Iraq.
The barrage of missiles came in retaliation for a US drone strike which killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani last week.
CNN and Newsweek also reported that US officials believe Iran mistakenly shot down the jet.
"It could be very possible, CNN is told, that this is a fog of war incident," CNN’s Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr said.
"The Iranian missile unit, the troops on the ground in Iran at that point, perhaps saw something on their own radar returned, perhaps thought they were under attack and fired."
US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said that they believed that an Iranian missile had shot down the plane, with Johnson saying that there was a “body of information” suggesting that this was the case.
Iran, however, challenged the Western leaders’ narrative, saying that they were based on “doubtful scenarions.
In a statement, the Iranian government urged Canada to share its intelligence information about the incident and said that it was prepared to allow experts from the countries who lost people in the crash to help with the enquiry
The Iranian foreign ministry also invited the US plane manufacturer Boeing to “participate” in its enquiry into the crash.
However, Eliot Higgins, the founder of Bellingcat, tweeted that Iran had reportedly bulldozed the wreckage from the plane, saying that this made a forensic investigation of the crash site “impossible”.
Agencies contributed to this report.