A relative of the crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 from Tehran reacts, at Boryspil International Airport in Kiev, Ukraine Image copyright EPA
Image caption Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) has named victims of Wednesday’s crash

A Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 crashed shortly after take-off in Iran on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board.

In total, 82 Iranians and 63 Canadians were on board the Kyiv-bound Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) Flight PS752, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said.

There were also 11 victims – including nine crew members – from Ukraine, four Afghans, four Britons and three Germans.

Iran’s head of emergency operations said 147 of the victims were Iranian, which suggests many of the foreign nationals held dual nationality.

A list of passengers was released by the airline, but the BBC is awaiting confirmation from people known to the victims.

Canada ‘shocked and saddened’

The majority of the passengers on the flight were headed for Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed. Out of the 176 victims, 138 had listed Canada as their final destination.

Of them, 63 of them carried a Canadian passport, but many others were foreign students, permanent residents or visitors.

A number of the passengers on board the plane were reportedly students and university staff from Canada returning at the end of the holidays.

The tragedy was a national one, touching many communities across the country.

British Columbia

Ardalan Ebnoddin Hamidi, Niloofar Razzaghi and their teenage son Kamyar, a family of three from Vancouver were returning from Iran where they had taken a short vacation and were confirmed to have been on the flight.

The University of British Columbia said it is mourning the loss of Mehran Abtahi, a postdoctoral research fellow, and sibling alumnus Zeynab Asadi Lari and Mohammad Asadi Lari.

“She was full of dreams, and now they’re gone,” Elnaz Morshedi told the BBC of her friend Zeynab Asadi Lari, who was studying health sciences.

Her brother Mohammmad was the co-founder of STEM fellowship, a youth-run charity that helps students in maths and sciences.

Other victims from the west coast province include Delaram Dadashnejad, an international student studying nutrition at a college in Vancouver, and couple Naser Pourshaban Oshibi and Firouzeh Madani.

Alberta

The University of Alberta confirmed that 10 members of the institutions community were killed in the tragedy.

Pedram Mousavi and Mojgan Daneshmand, a married couple who taught engineering at the University of Alberta, were killed in the crash, along with their two daughters, Daria, 14, and Dorina, 9.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Pedram Mousavi and Mojgan Daneshmand with their two daughters

Arash Pourzarabi, 26,and Pouneh Gourji, 25, were graduate students in computer science at the university, and had gone to Iran for their wedding.

Other students who died included Elnaz Nabiyi, Nasim Rahmanifar, and Amir Saeedinia, as well as alumnus Mohammad Mahdi Elyasi, who studied mechanical engineering and graduated in 2017.

Obstetrician Shekoufeh Choupannejad, her daughter Saba Saadat, who was studying medicine at the university, and Sara, who had recently graduated, were also among those on the flight

The “community is reeling from this loss,” said university president David Turpin on Thursday.

Also from the province of Alberta was Kasra Saati, an aircraft mechanic formerly with Viking Air, the CBC confirmed.

Manitoba

Victims from Winnipeg included Forough Khadem, described “as a promising scientist and a dear friend,” by her colleague E Eftekharpour.

Graduate student Amirhossein Ghassemi was studying biomedical engineering.

“I can’t use past tense. I think he’s coming back. We play again. We talk again. It’s too difficult to use past tense, too difficult. No one can believe it,” his friend Amir Shirzadi told CTV News.

Amirhossein Bahabadi Ghorbani, 21, was studying science at the University of Manitoba and hoped to become a doctor, his roommate told the CBC.

CBC also confirmed that a family of three from that city – Mohammad Mahdi Sadeghi, his wife, Bahareh Hajesfandiari, and their daughter, Anisa Sadeghi, were travelling together on the flight.

Farzaneh Naderi, a customer service manager at Walmart, and her 11-year-old son Noojan Sadr were also killed.

Ontario

Many of the victims were returning to their homes in Toronto and other nearby cities in the province of Ontario.

They included Ghanimat Azhdari – a PhD student at the University of Guelph, Ontario. She specialised in promoting the rights of indigenous groups and her research group described her as “cherished and loved”.

Toronto resident Alina Tarbhai was also among the victims, her employer, the Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation (OSSTF), told the BBC. Her mother Afifa Tarbhai was also on board.

The University of Windsor, Ontario, confirmed five people from their school had died on the plane. Phd student Hamid Kokab Setareh and his wife Samira Bashiri, who was also a researcher at the school, were among those killed.

Omid Arsalani told CBC that his sister Evin Arsalani, 30, had travelled to Iran to attend a wedding with her husband, Hiva Molani, 38, and their one-year-old daughter Kurdia. All three were killed in the crash.

The University of Toronto confirmed the loss of students Mojtaba Abbasnezhad, Mohammad Amin Beiruti, and Mohammad Amin Jebelli, and Mohammad Salehe.

Seyed Hossein Mortazavi, a childhood friend of Mohammad Salehe, said he was a bit reserved and shy but a brilliant computer programmer whose talent was widely recognised.

McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario confirmed the loss of PhD students Iman Aghabali and Mehdi Eshaghian, as well as of former postdoctoral researcher Siavash Maghsoudlou Estarabadi.

The CBC confirmed that Mahdieh Ghassemi and her two children Arsan Niazi and Arnica Niazi, were on the flight.

Tirgan, an Iranian cultural charity, said “it is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell” to some volunteers with their organisation, including couple Parinaz and Iman Ghaderpanah.

The organisation said was joining in mourning with another volunteer, Hamed Esmaeilion, who lost his wife Parisa Eghbalian, and their daughter Reera Esmaeilion.

Western University said it was mourning four international students: Ghazal Nourian, Milad Nahavandi, Hadis Hayatdavoudi, Sajedeh Saraeian.

The University of Waterloo shared the news “with heavy hearts” that their community had lost two PhD students Marzieh (Mari) Foroutan and Mansour Esnaashary Esfahani.

Quebec

Engineer Siavash Ghafouri-Azar was returning home with his new wife, Sara Mamani, when the plane crashed. The couple had just bought their first home near the Canadian city of Montreal.

His uncle, Reza Ghafouri-Azar, told the BBC “I cannot come up with words for my kind, dedicated nephew.”

“He has been a very positive and passionate from childhood until his soul soul departure from his body. Rest in peace my dearest side by your beloved wife,” he said.

Image copyright Submitted by Ali Dolatabadi
Image caption Siavash Ghafouri-Azar and his wife Sara Mamani

Mr Ghafouri-Azar is a professor of engineering in Toronto, and he introduced his nephew to Ali Dolatabadi, an engineering professor at Concordia University who would become Siavash’s thesis supervisor.

“It is a great loss,” Mr Dolatabadi told the BBC. “He was very intelligent, a gentleman. He had a kind and a gentle soul.” He said his wife Sarah Mamani was “very kind, very polite”. The couple were looking forward to throwing a housewarming party in the New Year.

Armin Morattab was worried when his twin Arvin Morattab, called him from the airport in Tehran, amid reports that Iran had fired missiles at US targets in Iraq.

“He said he was coming back home soon,” Mr Morattab told the Montreal Gazette.

Arvin Morattab and his wife Aida Farzaneh were both killed.

The Gazette also confirmed that Mohammad Moeini, from Quebec, was also killed.

Nova Scotia

Global News confirmed that five of the victims have ties to Nova Scotia, a province on Canada’s east coast.

Dalhousie University student Masoumeh Ghavi, her sister, Mandieh Ghavi, were both killed, as was local dentist Dr. Sharieh Faghihi, and two graduate students at St Mary’s University, Maryam Malek and Fatemeh Mahmoodi.

Ali Nafarieh, a professor at Dalhousie and president of the Iranian Cultural Association of Nova Scotia, employed Masoumeh Ghavi part-time at his IT company. He says she was one of the university’s “top students”.

“I remember she has always a smile on her face. What she brought in our company in addition to skills and knowledge and experience was her energy. She changed the atmosphere over there. We’ll miss her a lot,” he told CTV News.

Iran victims

We have no information on the 82 Iranian nationals who died.

Tributes to British victims

Four British nationals were among the victims.

Image copyright Facebook/LinkedIn
Image caption Mohammed Reza Kadkhoda Zadeh, Sam Zokaei and Saeed Tahmasebi were all on board

Three have been named as Mohammed Reza Kadkhoda Zadeh, who owned a dry cleaners in West Sussex, BP engineer Sam Zokaei from Twickenham, and and PhD student and engineer Saeed Tahmasebi, who lived in Dartford.

Last year, Mr Tahmasebi married his Iranian partner, Niloufar Ebrahim, who was also listed as a passenger on the plane.

Swedish children feared dead

Ten Swedish nationals died in the crash. Many of them are believed to have also had Iranian citizenship.

Swedish media report that several children were among the victims.

Sweden’s foreign ministry confirmed that Swedes were among those killed. It provided no further details.

Ukrainian airline crew

Nine of the 11 Ukrainian nationals killed were staff at Ukraine International Airlines (UIA).

Valeriia Ovcharuk, 28, and Mariia Mykytiuk, 24, were among the flight attendants who died.

On their social media accounts, which are now being filled with tributes, they frequently shared photographs from their travels.

Valeria posted just two weeks ago from a hotel in Bangkok with the caption: “Work, I love you.”

Ihor Matkov, was flight PS752’s chief attendant. The other three flight attendants were named by the airline as Kateryna Statnik, Yuliia Solohub and Denys Lykhno.

Three pilots were on board at the time of the accident: Captain Volodymyr Gaponenko, First Officer Serhii Khomenko and instructor Oleksiy Naumkin.

All three had between 7,600 and 12,000 hours experience flying a 737 aircraft, according to the airline.

A former UIA pilot said he had flown together with each of the three pilots. Writing on Facebook, Yuri, who wanted to be known only by his first name, described them as “great pilots”.

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