Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed that Canadians will get answers from what really happened with the crash of the Ukrainian passenger jet after its take off from Tehran, killing at least 63 Canadians.
The 3½-year-old Boeing 737-800 aircraft carried 138 passengers for a flight connecting to Canada. The flight included several international students who were studying at universities across Canada, some newlyweds, and a Canadian family of four.
Trudeau said his government is contacting his counterparts in Iran to get some answers. However, this becomes a problem as Canada closed its embassy in Iran in 2012 and also suspended diplomatic relations.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States is reaching out to cooperate with any probe into the cause of the crash.
The crash came after Iran launched a missile attack on Iraq base housing U.S. soldiers. However, Iranian officials suspected that the crash was due to a mechanical issue, which Ukrainian officials agreed upon, but receded and then refused to suspect a cause unless the investigation is finished.
“There is a clear need for answers. Canada is very concerned on this,” Tradeau noted, telling people that he already spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump earlier Wednesday.
Trudeau said he spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump earlier Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Prime Minister refused to speculate if the plane was purposefully shot down or not.
“Know that all Canadians are grieving with you,” Trudeau said, adding that the victims’ families want and deserve answers.
Investigation on the Ukrainian plane crash
Moreover, Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau could not speculate any cause, but said that right after the departure, the contact with the plane was lost. He said, therefore, the information from black box is needed.
Authorities have found these black boxes that record cabin conversations and instrument data. But, it is not yet clear how much access the Iranians would allow the Canadians to have.
Regardless, Canada’s Transportation Safety Board is offering technical assistance to the impending investigation in Iran. The agency has appointed an expert to monitor the progress of the probe led by Iran’s civil aviation organization.
Beside, Canada’s aviation experts were skeptical about Iran’s initial suspect that the plane had crashed because of some mechanical problem.
“Something unusual happened,” Garneau noted.
The Ukrainian plane carried 167 passengers and nine crew members of different nationalities. Canada mourned by lowering its flag half-mast on Parliament Hill as well as the U.S. embassy in Ottawa.
The tragedy was one of the worst losses of life in an aviation disaster for Canadians. On June 23, 1985, 329 people were killed in the intended explosion of Air India flight 182 over the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the victims were Canadian.
“There are no words. 176 lives lost. 63 Canadians won’t be coming home,” Opposition New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh said in a tweet.
“These families deserve clear answers, but whatever the case, this is devastating,” he added.