At least 30 Edmontonians are believed to be among the 63 Canadians who died after the crash of a Ukrainian passenger flight only minutes after departing from Tehran’s airport yesterday.
According to Payman Parseyan, a member of the Iranian-Canadian community in Edmonton, 27 Iranian-Canadians were on Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752.
Among the 63 dead were two University of Alberta professors, married and with their two daughters.
Pedram Mousavi and Mojgan Daneshmand—both professors in the faculty of engineering—and their two daughters, Daria and Dorina, passed away in the plane crash, according to Masoud Ardakani of the University of Alberta.
Parseyan went on to tell CBC Radio that the flight was not an organized trip, and the large number of Iranian-Canadians on the flight was coincidence, due largely to international students’ inability to travel to the United States, which led them to take European connections.
Parseyan says a small group of roughly 100 people has committed to helping make arrangements for the victim’s families.
“Edmonton’s Iranian community isn’t Canada’s largest Iranian community, but we are working together to ensure all members of the community are supported during this difficult time.”
“Many were expecting their friends and [family] members to come back … [and] were well aware what flight they were on,” said Parseyan.
Parseyan told a story of a man who called in disbelief to ask him if there could have been a different flight to Kyiv.
“He called and said, ‘Hey, is there any chance there’s a second flight to Kyiv, this is a mistake? This can’t be real.’ He’s devastated.”