TEHRAN, Feb 24 (AFP) - A Tupolev 154 caught fire Sunday shortly after taking off from Mashhad in northeast on a domestic flight, an official at Mashhad airport said Sunday.
According to the report nobody was injured in the incident, the second in less than two weeks.
"Just after its take-off, the wing of the plane on Mashhad-Isfahan internal flight, caught fire but the pilot succeeded in immidiately touching back down at Mashhad airport", the state television reported.
On Feburary 12 all 119 passengers and crew were killed when an Iranian Tupolev 154 of Iran Air Tours crashed in mountains as it was preparing to land at Khorramabad southwestern Iran on an internal flight from Tehran.
The recent plane crash rekindled the debate over growing air safety worries in Iran, which has been hit by a US embargo on high-tech transfers and sales of planes, and prompted the resignation of the head of Iran's civil aviation, Behzad Mazaheri.
The Iranian parliament met behind closed doors a week ago to hear expert reports on the Khorramabad crash, as unconfirmed reports spoke of a mid-air explosion, and the authorities have announced the staged withdrawal of Russian-made planes from the country's state airline.
Many Iranian airlines are now using often vintage Russian aircraft, sometimes leased complete with crews. There are currently 13 Russian-made planes in use by the counntry's airlines.
In May 2001, a Yakovlev Yak-40 crashed in the country's northeast killing the 30 people on board, including then transport minister Rahman Dadman.
In 1993 another Tupolev 154 crashed at Tehran airport with the loss of 131 lives.