Ten people were killed Wednesday when an Iranian air force helicopter crashed while on a rescue mission in the northeastern city of Mashhad, the Isna news agency said.

The chopper was on its way back to Mashhad, Iran's second-largest city, after a trip to the Malek Abad area to pick up people injured in a van accident.

Flying in dense fog at around 7:00 a.m., the aircraft collided with a high-tension wire and plunged to the ground near a shopping center in Mashhad's Gein Arab neighborhood.

The helicopter was carrying five accident victims, a paramedic and a crew of four.

Eight of the occupants were pronounced dead at the scene and the other two died a few hours later at Talegani Hospital, the chopper's intended destination. EFE