A BOEING cargo plane has crash landed in Iran and left at least 15 people dead.

The big jet, operated by the Iranian Air Force, exploded into flames after crashing into houses near the capital of Tehran.

The pilot reportedly lost control of the plane after “mistaking the airport with another airfield because of bad weather”.

It was flying from Kyrgyzstan to Karaj Payam airport in Iran, but reportedly ended up landing at nearby Fath Airport near Tehran.

It then skidded off the runway during the emergency landing and smashed into houses before exploding into flames.

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Boeing 707 plane crash scene in Iran

CRASH LANDING: The Boeing 707 smashed into houses during bad weather (Pic: AFP/EPA)

Dramatic images earlier showed flames ripping through the 43-year-old fuselage as emergency services raced to the scene.

Rescuers were soon seen picking through the smouldering, blackened wreckage in the search for victims.

But it was later confirmed that 15 people died in the horror crash, and only one survived.

The survivor – believed to be the flight engineer – has been rushed to hospital. Their condition is unknown.

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It was initially reported the plane had 10 people on board, before that figure later rose to 16.

A spokesman for Iran’s civil aviation told state TV earlier that the plane – which was reportedly carrying meat – belonged to Kyrgyzstan.

Yet a spokeswoman for Kyrgyzstan’s Manas airport said the plane belonged to Iran’s Payam Air, Reuters reported.

But it was later confirmed it belonged to Iran’s air force.

A spokesman for the army said: “A Boeing cargo 707 place carrying meat from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan had an emergency landing at Fath airport today … the flight engineer has been dispatched to the hospital.

“It exited the runway during the landing and caught fire after hitting the wall at the end of the runway.”

Aviation expert Alex Macheras said on Twitter that thousands of Iranians have died in plane crashes over the last four decades.

He said: “Sanctions have left airlines in #Iran with the oldest jets in world, with little access to spare parts.

“Nearly 2,000 Iranians have died in plane crashes since 1979.”

Iranian officials have launched an investigation into the cause of the air disaster.

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