63 Canadians among 176 killed in Ukraine International Airlines plane crash in Iran

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      Canadians are waking up to the shocking news that dozens of people from this country were onboard Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752.

      The Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft crashed minutes after takeoff from Tehran, just a few hours after Iran launched air strikes against U.S. targets in Iraq.

      All 176 people on board died, including 63 Canadians. They were bound for Kyiv, where a connection flight would have taken them to Canada.

      "Our hearts are with the loved ones of the victims, including many Canadians," Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne tweeted. "I've been in touch with the government of Iran. We will continue to keep Canadians informed as the situation evolves."

      In addition to the Canadians, there were 82 Iranians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans, and three Britons on the plane.

      Initially, the plane crash was blamed on mechanical failure.

      However, the Kyiv Post has reported that airline officials rejected that assertion at a news conference.

      In a statement, Ukraine International Airlines said in a statement that the aircraft was built in 2016. The last scheduled maintenance occurred on Sunday (January 6).

      "The airline expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the air crash and will do everything possible to support the relatives of the victims," it stated. "With immediate effect, UIA has decided to suspend its flights to Tehran."

      The manufacturer, Boeing, has tweeted that it's in contact with the airline and stands by it in this difficult time.

      "We are ready to assist in any way needed," Boeing tweeted.

      The plane that crashed in Tehran was the predecessor to Boeing's 737 Max jet, which has been grounded around the world due to safety concerns. 

      That came after two of these newer model planes crashed in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

      According to Bloomberg, the 737 NG planes have "one of the best safety records of any jetliner".


      On January 10, Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne said that 57 of the passengers were Canadian.