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63 Canadians killed in Iran plane crash

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TORONTO: Canada’s foreign minister said Wednesday that he has been in contact with the Ukrainian government upon learning that 63 Canadians were killed on a Ukrainian passenger plane, just minutes after taking off from Iran’s capital.

Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne called it tragic news and said that “Canada’s hearts are with the loved ones of the victims, including many Canadians.” He promised to keep Canadians informed as the situation evolves.

The Ukraine International Airlines plane crash occurred hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing U.S. soldiers, but Iranian officials said they suspected a mechanical problem toppled the 31-year-old Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Ukrainian officials initially agreed, but later walked away and refused to offer a cause while the investigation was ongoing. The aircraft carried 167 passengers and nine crew members from different nations.

It’s one of the worst loss of life for Canadians in an aviation disaster. In 1985 a bomb exploded and killed 329 people aboard an Air India flight. Air India Flight 182 from Montreal to New Delhi exploded over the Atlantic Ocean near Britain on 23 June 1985. Most of the victims were Canadians.

Canada closed its embassy in Iran in 2012 and suspended diplomatic relations.

Canada urges Canadians to avoid non-essential travel to Iran due to the volatile security situation, but the travel notice does not mention the plane crash.

Times of India

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