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At least 39 people were killed and nine injured Sunday when a passenger plane taking off from Iran's capital of Tehran crashed.

The Iran-140 Sepahan Airlines jet crashed in a residential area when its engine shut down shortly after takeoff from Tehran's Mehrabad airport at 9:45 a.m. local time, Iran's state-run IRNA news agency reported. The aircraft was en route to the eastern city of Tabas.

Initial reports indicated all 48 on board had died in the crash, but IRNA later reported nine survived and were transferred to nearby hospitals.

State TV reported the plane, a twin-engine turboprop, struck the cables of an electricity tower before it hit the ground and burst into flames.

"There was no smoke or anything. It was absolutely sound and in good condition" before the crash and what appeared to be multiple explosions, said eyewitness Hassan Molla, who heard a roaring sound as the plane came in low overhead, one wing tilting.

State TV said some of the victims' bodies were so badly burned they could not be identified.

Iran's airlines have been plagued by crashes, which politicians have blamed on international sanctions that block airlines from replacing their aging fleets, Reuters reported.

The last major airliner crash in Iran happened in January 2011, when an Iran Air Boeing 727 broke to pieces on impact while trying an emergency landing in a snowstorm in northwestern Iran, killing at least 77 people.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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