Sixty-three Canadians are among the 176 dead after a Boeing 737-800, operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, crashed in Iran early this morning, near the capital Tehran.
According to reports from The Associated Press, the aircraft was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew on board, and was en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev when it disappeared from radar just minutes after takeoff.
There were no survivors.
Following news of the accident, Boeing took to Twitter to express its condolences to those affected by Flight 752.
"This is a tragic event and our heartfelt thoughts are with the crew, passengers, and their families," Boeing wrote in a statement. 'We are in contact with our airline customer and stand by them in this difficult time. We are ready to assist in any way needed."
This is a tragic event and our heartfelt thoughts are with the crew, passengers, and their families. We are in contact with our airline customer and stand by them in this difficult time. We are ready to assist in any way needed. pic.twitter.com/TsTlyY34Vd— The Boeing Company (@Boeing) January 8, 2020
The flight was operated on a Boeing 737-800, the predecessor to the Boeing 737 MAX 8, which has been grounded since March 2019 following its involvement in two fatal crashes: 189 people were killed aboard a Lion Air flight just 13 minutes after take off, and 157 people were killed aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight on Mar. 10, 2019 just six minutes after takeoff. In both incidents, which claimed a combined total of 346 lives just two months apart, the aircraft were brand new.
According to the Associated Press, Iranian officials have said they suspect a mechanical issue brought down the 3 1/2-year-old Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Flight-tracking service FlightRadar24 has been active on Twitter, and continues to post updates regarding flights that have been rerouted as a result of this morning's crash, saying that for the majority, "it's business as usual."
A few more flights rerouting around Iraq + Iran. The two Emirates flights both fly to New York (EK205 via Milan), usually through Iraq. BA118 normally flies back to London through Iran. For many flights, however, it is business as usual. https://t.co/X1NZSmRH0z pic.twitter.com/4NhFdS3kCS— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) January 8, 2020
Flight AC56 from Toronto to Dubai is the only Air Canada flight that is relevant to the FAA alert. Instead of transiting south through Iraq to get to Dubai, today’s flight will fly through Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Flightradar24 tweeted.
Global Affairs Canada is warning against any non-essential travel to Iran "due to the volatile security situation, the regional threat of terrorism and the risk of arbitrary detention."
The agency said Canadians, particularly those holding dual Canadian-Iranian citizenship, were at risk of being arbitrarily questioned, arrested and detained.
"Iran does not recognize dual nationality and Canada will not be granted consular access to dual Canadian-Iranian citizens," Global Affairs said. "Canadian-Iranian dual citizens should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Iran."
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