Within days of U.S. officials making it clear they believe Iran shot down the Ukranian passenger plane that killed 176, Iran has cleared the crash site of debris using bulldozers, sparking fears of a cover-up and destroyed forensic evidence.
Per USAToday, Iranian authorities pointed to the possibility of engine failure, but some aviation observers were skeptical.
“There was no way for Iran to know it was engine failure,” said Mary Schiavo, a former U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general and a pilot. She said photos of the wreckage she’s examined show no evidence of engine problems.
Per Time of Israel, Iran has used bulldozers to clear away debris at the site of Ukrainian airliner crash, potentially destroying evidence as Tehran continues to deny Western allegations that one of its own missiles downed the jet, killing all 176 people on board.
Photos from the site show at least one bulldozer clearing away wreckage and Giancarlo Fiorella of Bellingcat, a journalism website that focuses on fact-finding, said the group had verified pictures of other bulldozers at work at the scene, calling it “distressing.”
“It’s distressing, this is a potential crime scene, if this was a shoot down you don’t want to disturb the crash site before a thorough investigation has taken place,” he told the UK’s Channel 4 news. “The presence of heavy machinery, the bulldozing of the wreckage is very distressing.”
But Now IRAN has started removing things from the crash site using Bulldozers , trying to remove all traces of Missile hit pic.twitter.com/mQcpo907MX
— Defence360_Official (@Defence_360) January 9, 2020
Latest #MSM propaganda against #Iran is they covering up #UkrainianPlane crash by using bulldozers. Here are pictures of other plane crashes in America and elsewhere. Look at what they are using. Yes #Bulldozers @snarwani @RaniaKhalek @sahouraxo @Marwa__Osman pic.twitter.com/ThDy9pZqlB
— Oppression.org (@OppressionOrg) January 10, 2020
Metro reports bulldozers have been spotted clearing debris at the spot just outside Tehran where a passenger plane crashed on Wednesday killing all 176 people on board.
It comes after US officials, Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it is highly likely an Iranian missile shot down the jet just minutes after take-off.
Fears are mounting that the bulldozers could be used to destroy or cover-up crucial evidence in the investigation. Iranian has repeatedly denied shooting the Boeing 737 down, initially suggesting an engine fire could have caused the plane to lose control.
In a statement published yesterday, Johnson accepted the use of a missile may have been ‘unintentional’ as he called for a ‘full, transparent investigation’.
Four US officials who asked to remain anonymous said the passing plane could have been mistaken as a threat.
When asked about video footage of bulldozers obtained by American TV, Iran’s ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeidinejad dismissed the claims as ‘absurd’.
He told Sky News: ‘Are we in fact relying on the reporters to have judgement about a very technical issue?” ‘Plane accidents are a very technical issue. I cannot judge. You cannot judge. Reporters on the ground cannot judge.