EDMONTON, Alberta, Jan 8 (Reuters) – A newlywed couple that travelled to Iran to get married were among the 63 Canadian killed when their Ukrainian Airlines flight crashed early on Wednesday.
All 176 passengers on board the Boeing 737 were killed when the plane crashed shortly after takeoff.
Arash Pourzarbi, 26, and Pouneh Gourji, 25, who were students in computer science at the University of Alberta, had gone to Iran for their wedding, said Reza Akbari, president of the Iranian Heritage Society of Edmonton
They were on the plane with four members of their wedding party and another 24 Iranian-Canadians from Edmonton, Akbari said.
“Oh God, I can’t believe this,” Akbari told Reuters. “It’s shocking to the whole community.”
The flight was a popular transit route for Canadians traveling to Iran, in the absence of direct flights, and carried many students and academics heading home from the holidays. Canada broke off diplomatic relations with Iran in 2012.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday that the government would reach out to international partners to ensure the crash is thoroughly investigated “and that Canadians’ questions are answered.”
Trudeau will hold a news conference on the crash later on Wednesday, his spokeswoman said.
Edited by Jacob White