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57 Canadians killed in an airliner crash in Iran: Live updates

The Boeing 737 went down shortly after takeoff in Tehran, killing all 176 people aboard. Here is what's known so far.

Originally published: Jan. 8, 2020, 10:00 a.m. ET. Latest update: Jan. 13, 2020, 11:30 a.m. ET

What happened to Flight PS752?

Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752, a Boeing 737-800, crashed shortly after takeoff from Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran, Iran, killing 176 passengers and crew—including 57* Canadians. The flight had been enroute to Kyiv.

Victims also reportedly included 82 Iranians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three British passengers. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a press conference on Jan. 8 and stated that a total of 138 passengers on the ill-fated flight were en-route to Canada as their final destination. 

On Jan. 9, U.S. sources began reporting that U.S. officials were “confident” that Iran had shot down the airliner. Trudeau later that day held a press conference telling reporters that multiple sources had confirmed that the plane had likely been shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile strike.

The Iranian civil aviation authority confirmed on Wednesday that it had opened an investigation into the disaster. The Iranians have since invited the U.S.-based National Transportation Safety Board, as well as Ukrainian officials—and, in a limited capacity, Canadians—to join the investigation. Trudeau also confirmed on Thursday that Canadian consular officials are being granted access to Iran. Canada and Iran have not had normal diplomatic relations since 2012.

Who are the Canadian victims?

The majority of the 57 Canadian victims appear to be from Edmonton. 

  • Pedram Mousavi and his wife Mojgan Daneshmand, both University of Alberta professors, and their two daughters, Daria and Dorina
  • Shekoufeh Choupannejad, an OB-GYN at the Northgate Centre Medical Clinic in Edmonton, and her two daughters, U of A students Saba Saadat and Sara Saadat according to CBC News
  • Arash Pourzarabi and Pooneh Gorji, a recently married couple, studying at the University of Alberta, according to Global News
  • Amir Hossein Saeedinia, who was supposed to start his PhD at University of Alberta shortly
  • Six passengers were from Winnipeg, with ties to the University of Manitoba. Amirhossien Ghasemi, 32, Amirhossien Ghorbani, 21, Forough Khadem, 38, Mehdi Sadeghi, Bahareh Haj Esfandiari, 41, and Anisa Sadeghi, 10, are among those identified, according to Global News
  • Mohammad Mahdi Elyasi, 28, engineering masters student at University of Alberta
  • Evin Arsalani, 30, her husband, Hiva Molani, 38, and their one-year-old daughter Kurdia, from Ajax, Ont., according to CBC News 
  • Parisa Eghbalian, a dentist in Aurora, Ont. and her daughter, nine-year-old Reera Esmaeilion
  • University of Guelph PhD student and social science researcher, 36-year-old Ghanimat Azhdari, according to CBC News
  • Milad Ghasemi Ariani, enrolled in a marketing and consumer studies program at U of Guelph, according to Global
  • A University of Waterloo international student, Marizeh Foroutan, the Toronto Star reports
  • Mansour Esnaashary Esfahani, 28, U of Waterloo student
  • Arshia Arbabbahrami, grade 12 student from Calgary
  • Neda Sadighi, a Richmond Hill, Ont. optometrist and eye surgeon
  • Suzan Golbabapour, a real estate agent at a Richmond Hill Remax
  • Faezeh Falsafi, 46, sales representative from Richmond Hill
  • Samira Bashiri and husband Hamid Setarah Kokab, both affiliated with University of Windsor. Bashiri was a researcher at the university while her husband was a mechanical engineering PhD student.
  • Pedram Jadidi, a University of Windsor civil engineering student
  • Zahra Naghibi, a PhD candidate at U of Windsor. She worked in the Turbulence and Energy Lab
  • Alina Tarbhai, an administrative clerk at the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, reports CBC News, and her mother Afifa Tarbhai, both from the Toronto area
  • Asgar Dhirani, 74, accountant from Toronto
  • Mohammad Amin Beiruti, 29, PhD student in computer science at University of Toronto
  • Behnaz Ebrahimi, 45, property analyst in Toronto
  • Ali Pey, 48-year-old CEO of Message Hopper, who lived in Ottawa
  • Three U of Ottawa students were also on the plane, but their names have not been released yet
  • Iman Aghabali, 28, a McMaster University grad student living in Hamilton, Ont.
  • Mehdi Eshaghian, a McMaster University grad student living in Hamilton, Ont.
  • Razgar Rahimi, a UOIT instructor, according to the university
  • Siavash Ghafouri-Azar and his wife Sara Mamani of Montreal
  • Arvin Morattab and Aida Farzaneh, PhD graduates from École de technologie supérieure, living in Montreal
  • Sisters Masoumeh Ghavi and Mandieh Ghavi, who were living in Nova Scotia. Masoumeh was an engineering student at Dalhousie University, reports Global News
  • Husband and wife Ardalan Ebnoddin Hamidi and Niloofar Razzaghi and teenage son Hamyar Ebnoddin Hamidi. They lived in Vancouver
  • Forough Khadem, who worked at CancerCare Manitoba
  • Delaram Dadashnejad, 26, an international student studying at Langara College in B.C.
  • Iman Ghaderpanah, mortgage specialist, and Parinaz Ghaderpanah, RBC employee, were a married couple from the GTA
  • Naser Pourshabanoshibi and Firouzeh Madani, both doctors in North Vancouver
  • Mohammad Hossein (Daniel) Saket and Fatemeh (Faye) Kazerani, a couple from North Vancouver. Saket was an engineer and Kazerani a hygienist
  • Mohammad Asadi Lari, 23, and sister Zeynab Asadi Lari, 21, both studying in Toronto
  • Fareed Arasteh, 32, a Carelton University student in Ottawa, working towards a PhD in biology
  • Mansour Pourjam, a dental technician in Ottawa, according to the Ottawa Citizen
  • Mohammad Amin Jebelli, 29, who was pursuing a Master of Health Science in Translational Research at University of Toronto
  • Mojtaba Abbasnezhad, 26, a PhD student at University of Toronto
  • Mahsa Amirliravi, 30, civil engineer from Toronto
  • Roja Azadian, a woman from Ottawa. Her husband wasn’t able to get on Flight 752.
  • Sharieh Faghihi, 58, dentist from Halifax

What has Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released the following statement:

This morning, I join Canadians across the country who are shocked and saddened to see reports that a plane crash outside of Tehran, Iran, has claimed the lives of 176 people, including 63* Canadians.

On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to those who have lost family, friends, and loved ones in this tragedy. Our government will continue to work closely with its international partners to ensure that this crash is thoroughly investigated, and that Canadians’ questions are answered. ​​​​​​​Today, I assure all Canadians that their safety and security is our top priority. We also join with the other countries who are mourning the loss of citizens.

[Foreign] Minister [Francois-Philippe] Champagne has been in touch with the government of Ukraine, and is speaking to relevant authorities and to international partners. [Transport] Minister [Marc] Garneau is also working with officials from Transport Canada, and is reaching out to his international counterparts.

Champagne tweeted the morning after the crash that “our hearts are with the loved ones of the victims.”

And Garneau also confirmed the feds would offer “technical assistance” to any investigations.

With news that around 30 Canadian victims of the crash are from Edmonton, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney tweeted:

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson also released a statement in response to the crash:

What have Iranian and Turkish officials said?

Turkey’s ministry of foreign affairs released this statement in the wake of the crash:

We are deeply saddened to hear that this morning a Ukrainian Airlines passenger plane flying from Tehran to Kyiv crashed shortly after take-off from the Tehran International Airport causing tragic loss of lives of all passengers and crew on board.

We express our sincere condolences to the families and loved-ones of those who lost their lives, as well as to the Governments and friendly peoples of Ukraine and Iran.

Iran’s ministry of foreign affairs released this statement on communication between Iranian and Ukrainian officials:

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has held a phone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Vadym Prystaiko on the regrettable crash of a Ukrainian passenger plane in Tehran, which killed many Iranian and foreign nationals, including those of Ukraine.

In the Wednesday phone conversation, the two ministers expressed deep regret over the heart-breaking accident, and exchanged condolences over the deaths of Iranian and Ukrainian nationals.

The reasons for the crash are still under investigation.

What do we know about the airplane?

Flight PS752 offered service between Tehran and Kyiv on a nearly daily basis. The aircraft involved in the crash, which had a registered tail number of UR-PSR, was a 3.5-year-old Boeing 737-800 that first flew on June 21, 2016.

In this photo taken on May 26, 2018, the airplane that crashed on Jan. 8, 2020—the Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737-800 with a tail number UR-PSR—is shown on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran (Oleg Belyakov/AP)

What do we know about the airline crew?

Ukraine International Airlines has released information about the pilots and crew aboard Flight PS752, all of whom have died. There was Captain Volodymyr Gaponenko, who has clocked 11,600 hours on Boeing 737 aircraft and 5,500 hours as captain, instructor pilot Oleksiy Naumkin and first officer Serhii Khomenko.

Cabin crew included chief flight attendant Ihor Matkov, as well as Kateryna Statnik, Mariia Mykytiuk, Valeriia Ovcharuk, Yuliia Solohub and Denys Lykhno.

Ihor Sosnovsky, UIA’s VP of operations has said: “According to our records, the aircraft ascended as high as 2,400 meters. Given the crew’s experience, error probability is minimal. We do not even consider such a chance.”

How does the Flight PS752 crash compare to other air disasters involving Canadians?

These are some of the most devastating air disasters involving Canadian aircraft, crew or passengers. (Our sources for this information are the Canadian Encyclopedia, news files and Aviation-Safety.net.)


Air India – June 23, 1985

Number of deaths: 329, including 280 Canadians

Cause: Bomb

Location: North Atlantic, off Ireland 


Trans-Canada Airlines – Nov. 29, 1963

Number of deaths: 118

Cause: Undetermined

Location: Sainte-Thérèse-de-Blainville, Que.


Air Canada – July 5, 1970

Number of deaths: 109

Cause: Heavy landing, followed by crash on second attempt to land

Location: Toronto


Maritime Central Airways – Aug. 11, 1957

Number of deaths: 79, mostly Canadian veterans returning from a visit to the U.K.

Cause: Loss of control in severe weather

Location: Near Quebec City


Trans-Canada Airlines – Dec. 9, 1956

Number of deaths: 62

Cause: Icing and engine loss

Location: Mount Slesse, B.C.


Canadian Pacific Airlines – July 8, 1965

Number of deaths: 52

Cause: Explosion, likely intentional; unsolved

Location: Near 100 Mile House, B.C.


Panarctic Oils – Oct. 30, 1974

Number of deaths: 32, all Canadian

Cause: Crash landing, cause undetermined

Location: Rea Point, N.W.T.


EDITOR’S NOTE: On Jan. 10, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne revised the number of Canadians who died on Flight PS752 from 63 to 57.