Rescue workers recover the bodies of victims of a Ukrainian plane crash in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. A Ukrainian airplane carrying over 170 people crashed on Wednesday shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s main airport, killing all onboard. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Conservatives urge Iran to grant access to Iran plane crash as Trudeau pledges support

The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 crashed shortly after taking off from the Iranian capital

The Conservative defence critic says he doesn’t want the Iranian government to block access to investigators from Canada or any other countries that lost people in Wednesday’s plane crash near Tehran.

“I would encourage the Iranian regime to co-operate with the international investigation, and in particular allow Canada, Ukraine and the other nations who lost citizens on that flight to be involved in that investigation, regardless of the regional tensions right now and the politics surrounding the recent attacks,” Tory MP James Bezan said in an interview.

The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800, bound for Kyiv, crashed shortly after taking off from the Iranian capital, killing all 176 people on board. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said the plane was carrying 63 Canadians, 82 Iranians, 11 Ukrainian passengers and crew, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three Britons.

READ MORE: B.C. family of three, college student among victims in fatal Iran plane crash

The crash occurred just hours after Iran launched missile attacks on bases in Iraq where American troops are stationed. Iran said the attacks were retaliation for the American killing of its top Iranian general near Baghdad last week.

The Iranian military disputed any suggestion the plane had been hit by a missile, and Iranian aviation authorities said they suspected a mechanical problem brought down the 3 1/2-year-old Boeing 737. Ukrainian authorities initially said it appeared mechanical failure was to blame, but later walked that back, saying nothing had been ruled out.

“Iran’s retaliation last night was a needless attack. But regardless, this (crash) is a human tragedy that goes beyond anything that we were expecting in the fallout from the last few days,” said Bezan.

“Families deserve to get a full report on exactly what happened,” he added. “I don’t think we can speculate on the cause of the crash, but answers have to be forthcoming. I’m sure families would be devastated if Iran blocked access of international investigators from helping out with the full investigation into what caused the crash.”

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said on Twitter: “These families deserve clear answers, but whatever the cause, this is devastating.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will work with its international partners to thoroughly investigate the cause of the plane crash.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and Transport Minister Marc Garneau are reaching out to their international counterparts, he said.

“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,” Trudeau said in a statement.

“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.”

Champagne described the situation as “extremely fluid.”

“I have been in touch with my Ukrainian counterpart, and will continue to speak to all relevant authorities. The Government of Canada is committed to working closely with international partners regarding any possible investigation,” the minister said in a statement.

Garneau said on Twitter that Canada would offer technical assistance in the crash investigation.

READ MORE: Iran retaliates with missiles in ‘slap’ at US bases in Iraq

“The United States calls for complete co-operation with any investigation into the cause of the crash,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

Trudeau also offered condolences to the loved ones of those who died.

“This morning, I join Canadians across the country who are shocked and saddened to see reports that a plane crash outside of Tehran, Iran, has claimed the lives of 176 people, including 63 Canadians,” said Trudeau.

“We also join with the other countries who are mourning the loss of citizens.”

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer also offered his condolences on Twitter, calling it a “horrific tragedy.”

“Today is a sad day four our country,” Scheer wrote.

Richard Mills, the acting U.S. ambassador to Canada, also offered his condolences to Canadians.

“We join the global community in mourning the loss of all those killed in this tragic incident,” he said in a statement.

— with files from the Associated Press

Mike Blanchfield, 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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Trail RCMP officer accused of criminal harassment, forcible entry

BCPS: The charges against Murchie date between 2017 and 2020

Stanley Humphries school graduates donate $7,500 to various organizations

Doukhobor Discovery Centre and food bank are some of the recipients

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Indigenous leader Ed John pleads not guilty to historical sex charges

Ed John’s lawyer entered the plea by telephone on behalf of his client

Woman who talked to unconscious husband for 30 years gets solace from B.C. study

Ian Jordan suffered a head injury when he and another officer were on their way to a call in Victoria in September 1987

RCMP investigate threat against Indigenous totem poles on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast

Police describe the nature of the threat as ‘sensitive’

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Most Read