Saturday, February 27, 2021

Iran plane crash kills 63 Canadians, Iranian missile suspected, C-K flags lowered

At a news conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided an update on the ongoing investigation into the crash of a Ukraine International Airlines passenger aircraft in Tehran, Iran.

According to the Prime Minister, intelligence from multiple sources indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.

“We have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence, the evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface to air missile,” Trudeau said.

“This may well have been unintentional. This new information reinforces the need for a thorough investigation into this matter. Canada is working with its allies to ensure that a thorough and credible investigation is conducted to determine the causes of this fatal crash.”

Trudeau added: “Canadian have questions and they deserve answers.

To watch the Prime Minister’s full statement and press conference, click here.

A total of 63 Canadians were among the 176 people killed in the crash.

Chatham-Kent flags lowered to half-staff

Mayor Darrin Canniff today ordered municipal flags to be flown at half-staff in honour of the victims of the crash.

Municipal officials said according to the CBC, the victims included entire families, academics, students and newlyweds.

“Our hearts go out to those whose lives were lost in this terrible event,” Canniff said in a media release.

“The anguish of their families is felt throughout our community.”

Municipal officials said the crash came just a few hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack against Iraqi military bases, which were housing U.S. troops. This attack was amid a confrontation with Washington over the U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Municipal officials said.

Lianne Rood, MP for Lammton-Kent-Middlesex, and Monte McNaughton, MPP for Lammton-Kent-Middlesex, both offered their condolences on social media.

Shock and sadness following crash

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “shocked and saddened” to learn that a plane crash outside of Tehran, Iran, 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,” Trudeau said in a statement.

“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.”

Trudeau said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, had been in touch with the government of Ukraine, and was speaking to relevant authorities and to international partners.

Minister Garneau was also working with officials from Transport Canada, and was reaching out to his international counterparts, Trudeau added.

“Friends and relatives of Canadian citizens believed to be on board can contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre by calling 613-996-8885 or 1-800-387-3124, or by sending an email to sos@international.gc.ca,” the Prime Minister said.

“Canadian citizens in Iran requiring consular assistance should contact the Canadian Embassy in Ankara at +90 (312) 409 2700 or call Global Affairs Canada’s Emergency Watch and Response Centre at +1 613-996-8885.”

Champagne and Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, had a phone call last night, Federal officials say.

The two exchanged condolences for the victims of the crash of Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 from both their countries.

Minister Champagne stressed the need for Canadian officials to be quickly granted access to Iran to provide consular services, help with identification of the deceased and take part in the investigation of the crash.

Minister Champagne said that Canada and Canadians have many questions which will need to be answered.

Minister Champagne also condemned Iranian strikes targeting bases in Iraq where Coalition forces, including Canadians, are stationed.

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