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

Chilliwack on the map for Salmon Arm Roots and Blues

Canadian music legends confirmed for 28th annual music festival

Volunteer spends hundreds of hours restoring piece of railway history

Revelstoke Railway Museum now home to an authentic Kalamazzo No. 2 Section Handcar

Awesome lineup of music this weekend in Revelstoke

See bands and DJs Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Revelstoke RCMP hand out 59 tickets during driving enforcement campaign

Between Jan. 16 and 19 they handed out 21 speeding relative to conditions tickets

Avalanche closure scheduled, more snow on the way

Roads and weather for Revelstoke Jan. 20

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

North Okanagan woman pleas for return of stolen scooter

‘It’s been another kick in the teeth… how do you get ahead and keep your head above water?’

Police search for owner of another icy sailboat on Okanagan Lake

The frozen vessel was spotted near the 800 block of Manhattan Drive in Kelowna

Future of Penticton francophone school secured following funding announcement

$11.5M in funding means École Entre-lacs now independently owned and operated

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

City of Vernon to redirect reclaimed water into Okanagan Lake

MacKay Reservoir nears capacity; city to reflow water into lake near Kin Beach

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Most Read