At least 12 B.C. residents were among 63 Canadians killed when a Boeing 737 plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Tehran on Wednesday, Jan. 8.
The Boeing Co. 737-800 jetliner bound for Ukraine that crashed after takeoff in Iran, was most likely brought down by an engine fire, according to a Reuters story.
Ukraine International Airlines said all 167 passengers and nine crew members onboard the plane died in the crash. Names of the passengers who were onboard Flight PS752 have been released by the airline.
Thompson Rivers University has received no indication that any staff or students were on the crashed plane, TRU spokesperson Juli Holloway told KTW.
While that could change as information comes in, Holloway said the university would have likely heard by now if anyone associated with the university was on board.
Here are some of the B.C. residents among those on Flight PS752:
Iran‘s ISNA news agency named Delaram Dadashnejad, 26, as one of the victims, according to a Reuters story. The young student’s B.C. identity card was found among the wreckage. Dadashnejad was studying English language at Langara College, according to the Langara website.
Arash Azrahimi, who owns Rosewood Photography in North Vancouver, said some of the victims were his clients, including a mother, Ayeshe Pourghaderi and her daughter Fatemah Pasavand, who lived in North Vancouver.
Also from North Vancouver and killed in the crash were Dr. Firouzeh Madani and Dr. Naser Pourshabanoshibi. Madani immigrated to Canada from Iran in September 2013 with her husband and daughter. In an archived blog post on the New To BC website, Madani was interviewed about her experience working to transfer her medical skills and qualifications to Canada.
“For my husband and I, the biggest challenge faced was finding a job, but the other issue we faced was the fact that our daughter was starting high school in a foreign country,” she said.
In 2015, Madani had taken one of the required three exams that would allow her to begin practicing medicine in Canada. The blog post also spoke about Madani’s support from MOSAIC and Back in Motion – Skills Connect in order to secure work after immigrating. Madani had also spent time working with the North Vancouver City Library as a library champion.
North Vancouver couple Mohammad Hossein (Daniel) Saket and Fatemah Kazerani also died, according to relative Farzad Taheri. Taheri said Saket was an engineer and Kazerani was a dental hygienist.
Three members of a Port Coquitlam family have also been identified as victims: husband and wife Ardalan Ebnoddin-Hamidi and Niloofar Razzaghi and their teenaged son Kamyar Ebnoddin-Hamidi.
Shahram Hamraz of Coquitlam knew the family through the Tri-City Iranian Cultural Society, an organization where Ardalan, the husband and father, served as a board member.
Hamraz described the family as “very positive in the community. They were so active in our community… and it’s a small community,” Hamraz said. “So it is a loss, really.”
Brother and sister Zeynab Asadi Lari and Mohammad Asadi Lari also died in the crash. According to Azrahimi’s social posts, the pair was studying in Vancouver and their father is an official in the Iranian government. Both say they had studied at UBC, and Mohammad is listed as the co-founder of the STEM fellowship, a youth-run Canadian non-profit organization that uses mentors to give students skills in data science and scholarly writing.
Premier John Horgan released this statement following news of the crash:
"This morning, British Columbians woke up to the devastating news that 176 people were killed in a plane crash in Iran. We have learned that British Columbians are among the 63 Canadians who were killed. Our hearts and thoughts are with the families and friends of loved ones lost and the greater Iranian-Canadian community in B.C. that enriches life in our province. As we wait for answers about what happened, we join with nations around the world that are mourning this tragic loss of life. We share in their grief."
The Canadian flag at the legislature in Victoria will be flown at half-mast to mark the deaths in the plane crash.