A video obtained by several news outlets appears to show a missile hitting a plane near Tehran’s airport before it went down.
The New York Times and CNN said the plane appears to have been struck above Parand, Iran, which near where a Ukrainian jetliner stopped transmitting signals before it went down, killing all 176 people on board.
A projectile is seen hitting the plane, but the jet didn’t explode. It continued flying for several minutes before trying to move back toward the area of the airport, according to the NY Times.
The 19-second clip shows a dark sky suddenly illuminated by a flash of bright light, followed by a boom. The sounds of sirens could be heard in the background toward the end of the video.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that based on intelligence reports, he believes Iran likely fired missiles at Ukraine Airlines flight PS752.
“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. This may well have been unintentional,” the prime minister told reporters Thursday in a news conference.
Trudeau said he didn’t rule out whether the missile strike was an intentional act.
“It is really too early to draw any conclusions,” he told reporters. “The families of the victims and all Canadians want answers. I want answers. That means closure, accountability, and justice. We will not rest until we get that,” he added.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said Thursday there is now a “body of information” that indicated the plane was shot down.
Johnson said in a statement, “There is now a body of information that the flight was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. This may well have been unintentional. We are working closely with Canada and our international partners and there now needs to be a full, transparent investigation.”
Unnamed American officials told Fox News, CBS News, and The Wall Street Journal Thursday that they suspect the plane was mistakenly targeted by Iran. The Epoch Times could not independently verify the reports, and Pentagon officials have not responded for comment.
Among those who died were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, 4 Afghans, 3 Germans, and 3 UK citizens.
Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation (CAOI) chief Ali Abedzadeh disputed the reports of missiles hitting the jetliner.
“Scientifically, it is impossible that a missile hit the Ukrainian plane, and such rumors are illogical,” he told the semi-official ISNA News Agency, according to Reuters.
The apparent strike came shortly after Iran fired around 20 missiles at two Iraqi military bases that hold American troops amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran. Iran said it launched the ballistic missiles in retaliation after the United States killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was the leader of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, in Iraq.