1 survivor, 16 dead in cargo plane crash in Iran

Emergency crews in Iran responded Monday to a cargo plane crash at an airport about 25 miles west of Tehran that killed all but one of the 16-person crew, reports out of the country said.

The crew aboard the Boeing 707-- which was hauling meat from Kyrgyzstan-- declared an emergency and attempted an unscheduled landing at Fath Airport, which belongs to Iran’s famed paramilitary Revolutionary guard, reports said. The plane skidded off the runway and slammed into a wall and into a residential neighborhood.

The plane was engulfed in flames when emergency crews arrived. The Sun, citing local reports, said the pilot may have mistakenly landed at the location.

Iran's air force said in a statement that the fate of the crew, including their possible "martyrdom," is under investigation. It wasn't immediately clear who owns the plane, though Gen. Shahin Taghikhani, an army spokesman, told state TV that the plane and its crew were Iranian.

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Iranians often use the word "martyrdom" for those who die in war or national service, suggesting the aircraft may have belonged to the air force. The Iranian air force does operate Boeing 707s; it also has a civilian airline, SAHA.

The Associated Press contributed to this report