Canada’s foreign affairs minister called the crash of a Ukrainian passenger jet in Iran that killed 63 Canadians “tragic news” on Wednesday, as he expressed condolences to victims and their loved ones.
The airliner was carrying 176 people from seven countries when it crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran on Wednesday, killing all on board.
“Tragic news regarding Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752,” Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne wrote on Twitter.
“Our hearts are with the loved ones of the victims, including many Canadians. I have been in touch with the government of Ukraine. We will continue to keep Canadians informed as the situation evolves,” he said.
Canada had not confirmed the Ukrainian figures on the number of dead or any details as of early morning.
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), the ex-Soviet country’s privately owned flagship carrier, said flight PS752 took off from Tehran airport at 6:10 am and disappeared from radars just two minutes later.
Canada is home to a large Iranian diaspora and UIA offers relatively inexpensive flights between Toronto and Tehran, with a layover in Kiev.
According to Ukraine’s foreign minister, 82 Iranians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three Britons were on the plane in addition to the Canadians. Eleven Ukrainians — including the nine crew — were also on board.