Students, faculty and staff are overcome with emotion at a vigil in memory of four students who lost their lives on Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752 at Western University in London, Ont., on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Spowart

More vigils to be held for Canadian victims of plane crash in Iran

38 of the 176 passengers aboard the Kyiv-bound plane had a connecting flight to Canada

Mourners will gather at more candlelight vigils across Canada today to grieve the 176 victims of a plane crash on the outskirts of Tehran.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said 138 of the 176 passengers aboard the Kyiv-bound plane had a connecting flight to Canada.

They included newlyweds, families and academics.

The plane went down early Wednesday morning, several minutes after taking off from Iran’s capital,

Vigils are scheduled for this evening on Parliament Hill, in Toronto’s north end and in Halifax.

Hundreds gathered across the country on Wednesday night to mourn in the bitter cold in Edmonton and Toronto.

Meantime, Iran has released an initial investigative report about the crash, which is among the deadliest air disasters involving Canadians.

The jetliner’s crew were trying to turn back for the airport when the burning plane went down, the report says, noting that they never made a radio call for help.

In emergencies, pilots typically immediately contact air-traffic controllers.

Eyewitnesses, including the crew of another flight passing above it, described seeing the plane engulfed in flames before crashing, the report says.

The crash caused a massive explosion when the plane hit the ground, likely because the aircraft had been fully loaded with fuel for the flight to Ukraine’s capital city.

The report also says that both of the black boxes that contain data and cockpit communications from the plane have been recovered, though they sustained damage and some parts of their memory was lost.

It also says that investigators have initially ruled out laser or electromagnetic interference as causing the crash.

In the report, Iran says it is inviting Canada and all of the other countries affected to participate in the investigation.

Under rules set out by the International Civil Aviation Organization, the countries where the crash happened, where the plane is registered, where the plane’s operator is located, and where its manufacturer is based are all part of the investigation.

In this case, the Aircraft Accident Investigation Board of the Civil Aviation Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran is in charge, while Ukraine will assist.

READ MORE: Foreign affairs minister asks Iran to let Canada in to investigate plane crash

READ MORE: At least 10 people from B.C. among victims in fatal Iran plane crash

The Canadian Press


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