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)

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

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

Island Health is expected to begin public consultations soon on its controversial plans to open a new wellness and recovery centre at 5878 York Road. (File photo)
Public consultations on Duncan wellness and recovery centre coming in February

Controversial facility on York Road scheduled to open in June

Jerry Dyck plans to purchase a new RV to drive across Canada in, once it’s safe to travel again. (Courtesy BCLC)
Victoria man plans post-pandemic cross-Canada RV trip after $2M lottery win

Retired electrician bought the winning ticket in Duncan

Providence Health Care has teamed up with partners, including Island Health, to launch the first remote cochlear implant (CI) mapping program for adults in British Columbia. Duncan’s Alan Holt was one of the first to test it out. (Submitted)
Remote cochlear clinic offers shorter commute for patients like Duncan’s Alan Holt

Duncan man one of the first to test virtual mapping program

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

The shirts sell for $45, with 30 per cent of proceeds from each sale going to Battered Women’s Support Services in Vancouver. (Madame Premier/Sarah Elder-Chamanara)
Canadian company launches ‘hysterical’ T-Shirt to combat health officials’ use of word

A partnership with Tamara Taggart will see women broadcast the word on a T-shirt or tote bag

ICBC has seen savings on crash and injury claims in the COVID-19 pandemic, with traffic on B.C. roads reduced. (Penticton Western News)
ICBC opens online calculator for rate savings starting in May

Bypassing courts expected to save 20% on average

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
16% boom predicted for B.C. real estate sales in 2021: experts

Along with sales, the average price of homes is also predicted to rise, by nearly 8 percent

The trial of Harry Richardson began Monday at the Nelson courthouse. File photo
Trial of man accused of shooting RCMP officer in West Kootenay in 2019 begins

Harry Richardson is facing five charges in a Nelson courtroom

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

Brad Windsor has been an advocate for years to get sidewalks installed along Milburn Drive in Colwood, but to no avail. He wants city council to commit to making Milburn a priority lane for sidewalk construction in the future. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Dramatic crash caught on B.C. home security camera

Angry residents say video highlights need for sidewalks in B.C. residential neighbourhood

An independent review is underway at the Royal BC Museum after employees called out systemic, individual racism at the institution. (Twitter/RBCM)
Royal BC Museum faces allegations of systemic racism, toxic work environment

Formal investigation, survey and training launched at museum

In this May 23, 2012, file photo, an approximately 2-year-old female cougar runs away from a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife trap after being released northeast of Arlington, Wash. A cougar has attacked and severely mauled a man in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mark Mulligan/The Daily Herald via AP
Cougar euthanized in B.C. after severely mauling a man north of Vancouver

Whistler RCMP officers were first on the scene and shot and killed a cougar prowling nearby

Most Read