KIEV/WASHINGTON/OTTAWA (Reuters) – A Ukrainian airliner fell to earth in a fireball shortly after take-off from Tehran on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board in a crash that intelligence sources said was likely caused by a technical malfunction. The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800, en route to Kiev and carrying mostly Iranians and Iranian-Canadians, crashed hours after Iran fired missiles at bases housing U.S. forces in Iraq, leading some to speculate that the plane may have been hit. But five security sources – three Americans, one European and one Canadian – who asked not to be named, told Reuters the initial assessment of Western intelligence agencies was that the plane had suffered a technical malfunction and had not been brought down by a missile. There was evidence one of the jet’s engines had overheated, the Canadian source said. The crash comes at a difficult time for planemaker Boeing Co, which has grounded its 737 MAX fleet after two crashes. The 737-800 is one of the world’s most-flown models with a good safety record and does not have the software feature implicated in crashes of the 737 MAX. “We are in contact with our airline customers and stand by them… Read full this story
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