Here's what's known about some of the Toronto victims of the Iran plane crash
Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 was headed from Tehran, Iran's capital, to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. According to Reuters, many were taking the flight in transit to another international destination.
I’ve had family take the Tehran to Toronto route via Kiev in the past year. It’s been a new affordable route for many Iranian-Canadians who don’t have direct flights from Canada. My heart is with all the families of those lost. https://t.co/REnmEctsDC— mahsa alimardani 🌒 (@maasalan) January 8, 2020
On board were Torontonian Behnaz Khoei Ebrahimi and her son Rahmtin Ahmadi, according to CTV News.
Also lost in the accident was Alina Tarbhai, who worked at an Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation's office in the GTA, as well her mother Afifa Tarbhai and Toronto's Asghar Dhirani, as reported by CityNews.
Four students at the University of Toronto have been identified as victims of the crash. Mojtaba Abbasnezhad, a first-year international student doing his PhD in engineering was living in Toronto while studying. His close friend Pooya Poolad confirmed he was among those killed. pic.twitter.com/g1MqnDV9fn— CBC Toronto (@CBCToronto) January 8, 2020
The Toronto District School Board confirmed in a statement that "a number of" TDSB students, their families, and at least one family member of an employee were also victims in the crash that was fatal for everyone on board, including 10th-grader Maya Zibaie from Northern Secondary School.
We are heartbroken to learn that a number of TDSB students & their family members, along with a family member of at least one of our employees are among those who lost their lives in the crash of the UIA flight in Iran yesterday evening. https://t.co/SnLoEHF8SY— Toronto District School Board (@tdsb) January 8, 2020
Students from Ontario's York Region District School Board, as well as from Western University, University of Ottawa, University of Waterloo and University of Guelph have also been named as passengers.
Among them were Guelph U PhD students Ghanimat Azhdari and Milad Ghasemi Ariani, and Waterloo PhD students Marzieh Foroutan and Mansour Esfahani.
Flags at many schools and offices have been lowered to half-mast today in their honour.
Western is grieving the lives lost on Flight #PS752, including members of our own campus community. We will gather today at 5pm in IGAB, and immediate supports are available. Please read the full memo from President Alan Shepard: https://t.co/DftPW5035t— Western University (@WesternU) January 8, 2020
Other Canadians lost in the tragedy include a family of three from Ajax, Ontario, Aurora dentist Parisa Eghbalian and her daughter Reera Esmaeilion, as well as residents of Montreal, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Halifax and at least 30 people from Edmonton.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement offering condolences to those affected.
Of the 169 passengers and nine crew were also 82 Iranian, 11 Ukrainian, 10 Swedish, four Afghan, three German and three British nationals ranging in age from one to 74.
Heartbreaking news from Tehran this morning: 176 people, including 63 Canadians, have lost their lives in a tragic plane crash. My thoughts are with all those who are mourning the loss of family members, friends, and loved ones. https://t.co/rSTTbGj0oG— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 8, 2020
Iranian authorities believe the Boeing 737-800 encountered mechanical issues just minutes after takeoff, though they are unwilling to hand over the plane's black box to Boeing for further investigation. It was the first fatal crash in the history of the Ukrainian airline.
The "next-generation" aircraft is a popular model among commercial carriers around the world, and is employed in the fleets of airlines like Westjet, Air Transat, Sunwing and Flair Airlines, all of which operate in Canada. The plane was only a few years old.
The incident occurred hours after Iran launched missile attacks on Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops in retalition for Donald Trump's recent decision to kill prominent Iranian military leader Qassim Soleimani — a set of circumstances that have led to to wild speculation about the cause of the fiery crash.
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