Iran plane crash: 138 passengers were heading to Canada

Justin Trudeau has vowed his government will get answers after a Ukrainian passenger jet crashed in Iran, killing 176 people on board including 63 Canadians.

The Canadian prime minister revealed 138 passengers on board the Boeing 737-800 flight which was bound for the Ukrainian capital Kiev were connecting to Canada.

Three of those who died in the crash were British nationals.

The crash happened hours after Iran launched ballistic missile attacks on two Iraqi bases housing US soldiers.

Iranian officials said they suspected a mechanical issue brought down the aircraft.

Ukrainian officials initially agreed, but later backed away and declined to offer a cause while the investigation is ongoing.

“It’s dangerous to speculate on possible causes,” Mr Trudeau said on Wednesday.

He added that the Canadian victims’ families want and deserve answers about what happened.

“Know that all Canadians are grieving with you,” Mr Trudeau said.

The flight included many international students, a family of four and newlyweds.

Nine members of crew and at least 26 children were also on board, according to the flight manifest.

Mr Trudeau said his foreign minister was in touch with the Ukrainian government and his transport minister is reaching out to his international counterparts.

However, getting answers from Iran might prove difficult as Canada closed its embassy in Iran in 2012 and suspended diplomatic relations.

Authorities have said they have found the plane’s black boxes, which record cockpit conversations and instrument data.

But it was not immediately clear how much access to the information the Iranians would allow.

The British victims of the crash included engineer Sam Zokaei, from Surrey, Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi, from west London, and Mohammad Reza Kadkhoda Zadeh, from near Brighton.

Mr Tahmasebi, 35, from west London, worked as an engineer for Laing O’Rouke who described him as a “popular and well respected engineer” and said he will be “missed by many of his colleagues”.

Mr Tahmasebi’s wife, 34-year-old Iranian Niloufar Ebrahim, was also named among the casualties of the crash.

Mr Zokaei, 42, from Twickenham, worked for BP as a senior reservoir engineer and was on holiday.

A spokesman for the company said: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic loss of our friend and colleague and all of our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

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