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

Just Posted

Rent-It Centre takes over curbside collection contract in Tofino and Ucluelet

Rent It Centre’s bid was $25,865 lower than the only other bidder, SonBird Refuse and Recycling.

Tofino and Ucluelet’s Top 10 sports and arts stories of 2019

Revisiting the Coast’s best sports and arts newsmakers of the past year.

Tofino’s first cannabis dispensary opens

“I don’t know where it’s going, but happy how it’s gone so far.”

Tofino welcomes much needed veterinarian to town

West Coast has not had a full-time vet since Dr. Jane Hunt surrendered her licence in 2004.

Looking back on the West Coast’s top 10 news stories

Tofino and Ucluelet’s top headlines of 2019.

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

VIDEO: Ucluelet kids relish snow day on Vancouver Island

“We only get a snow day once a year, maybe.”

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

Most Read