The Persian-language daily `Afarinesh' reported that the plane, en route to Chabahar from Tehran, seemed to have developed the failure after a bird had hit its engine immediately after takeoff from Tehran's Mehrabad Airport.
The daily quoted an eyewitness as saying that there was a strong impact inside the plane after the takeoff that was followed by a foul smell.
It wrote that the plane had to stay at Zahedan Airport for over 10 hours before a substitute was flown there to move passengers to Chabahar.
Afarinesh also quoted Mohammad-Ali Keikha, an official in charge of dispatching at the airport, as saying that the plane had landed in Zahedan at 07:45 am (0315 GMT), adding that the engineers had not been able to remove the failure.
Keikha added that an expert team was thus flown to Zahedan from Tehran to remove the fault, and that the plane had been prepared to fly at 04:00 pm (11:30 GMT).
However, he said, the plane only took the crew to Tehran "because their due flying time had been over and they were not allowed to continue another sortie".
"The passengers were flown to Chabahar from Zahedan by another plane that had arrived from Tehran at 05:30 pm (01:00 GMT), and the normal flight schedule to take passengers from Chabahar to Tehran via Zahedan was resumed," the official said.
... Payvand News - 7/7/03 ... --