Mourners place candles and photographs during a vigil for those who were among the 176 people who were killed when Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 crashed after takeoff near Tehran, Iran, outside the Alberta Legislature Building in Edmonton on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Codie McLachlan

Prime Minister Trudeau to attend Edmonton memorial service for crash victims

There were dozens of Canadians among the 176 people killed in last Wednesday’s tragedy

Justin Trudeau is scheduled to attend a vigil in Edmonton today to pay his respects and mourn the loss of the victims of the Ukrainian jetliner crash in Iran.

The prime minister will also be speaking at this afternoon’s memorial service at the Saville Community Sports Centre.

There were 57 Canadians among the 176 people killed in last Wednesday’s tragedy, including 13 from the Edmonton area.

Another vigil to honour the victims will be held later this morning at the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has acknowledged that an Iranian missile shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 minutes after it took off from Tehran’s airport. Iran’s military said the plane was mistaken for a hostile target.

Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa Saturday he was “outraged and furious” that so many Canadians are grieving because of Iran’s actions, and that Iran must take “full responsibility” for the “horrific” incident.

“This is a tragedy that should not have happened,” he said, and he called for an immediate effort to de-escalate the regional tensions that he says contributed to the “great loss of innocent life.”

In addition to the 57 Canadian citizens on the plane, dozens more were bound for Canada, many of them students and professors returning after spending the December break visiting relatives in Iran.

Rouhani spoke with Trudeau by phone Saturday after posting on Twitter that investigations would continue to “identify and prosecute this great tragedy and unforgivable mistake.”

Trudeau said he told Rouhani he expected Canada to be fully involved in the investigation including gaining access to the airplane’s black boxes, and being allowed to participate in DNA identification of the victims. He also demanded consular access for Canadian officials to work with grieving families of Canadian victims in Iran.

Three officials from Global Affairs Canada landed in Tehran Saturday to set up the first Canadian consular presence on the ground since the crash happened. Seven more diplomats and two investigators from the Transportation Safety Board were also waiting for visas to travel to Iran to help.

Canada severed diplomatic ties with Iran in September 2012, closing its embassy and recalling all diplomats. With no diplomatic presence, Italy and Turkey have been aiding Canadians in Tehran.

READ MORE: Iran admits it shot down Ukrainian plane by mistake, killing 176 aboard

READ MORE: ‘Full of smiles’: Friend mourns Iran plane crash victim who wanted to build a life in Canada

VIDEO: UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cloverdale high school teacher chats about teaching and life during the COVID-19 crisis

Surrey’s Walter van Halst sits down for an informal ‘virtual’ coffee to discuss education’s current new reality

Celebrating Easter in Surrey, during COVID-19

Surrey’s Christian churches rise to the occasion, despite Coronavirus challenges

33-storey Whalley highrise, first of three phases, moves to public hearing

Councillors raise concerns about school overcrowding, green roofs

Regional parks in Delta closed for the long weekend

Boundary Bay and Deas Island parks closed ‘until further notice’ on Thursday, April 9

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan, amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

B.C.’s top doctor details prescription for safe long weekend

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

BC SPCA seeks help for abandoned German shepherd puppies

Donations have ‘petered out’ as doors are closed due to COVID-19

Researchers to study whether plasma of recovered patients can treat COVID-19

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies that protect against illness

B.C., Alberta health ministers urge public to stay home Easter weekend

Regional politicians, online petition calling for closure of provincial border to non-essential traffic

Most Read