At least 13 B.C. residents were killed when a Boeing 737 plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Tehran on Wednesday, killing all 167 passengers and nine crew members on board.
The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 was en route to Kyiv — Ukraine’s capital — went it went down on the outskirts of Tehran. Officials have said it appears there was a fire in one of the engines.
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.
The tally includes University of Victoria student Roja Omidbakhs. Here are some of the other B.C. residents who were killed in the crash of Ukrainian Airlines.
Delaram Dadashnejad, a 26-year-old Langara College nutrition student in Vancouver, was returning from visiting family and friends in Iran, her friend Sia Ahmadi told The Canadian Press.
Dadashnejad was originally booked for a round trip on Lufthansa Airlines, departing Vancouver on Dec. 17 and returning on Jan. 7, but her passport was stuck in Ottawa as part of her student visa renewal application, he said.
She got her passport back the morning of Dec. 18 and rebooked with Ukrainian International Airlines for a trip leaving that day and returning Jan. 8, said Ahmadi, who added he was supposed to pick her up from the airport.
“She was a very loving and compassionate person with a very kind heart, very loyal to her friends, and always tried to help people. Always.”
Dadashnejad planned to become a dietitian because she was passionate about health, said her friend, who added the young woman was an avid yogi and loved spending time outdoors in Vancouver.
Ayeshe Pourghaderi and Fatemah Pasavand
Arash Azrahimi, who owns Rosewood Photography in North Vancouver, told the Vancouver Sun that some of the victims were his clients, including a mother, Ayeshe Pourghaderi and her daughter Fatemah Pasavand, who lived in North Vancouver. They are survived by husband/father Amir Pasavand, who owns Amir Bakery on Lonsdale Avenue.
Dr. Firouzeh Madani and Dr. Naser Pourshaban
A North Vancouver couple in their mid-50s, Firouzeh Madani and Naser Pourshaban were both award-winning physicians in Iran, said their niece Sara Hezarkhani. They were working toward getting their licences to practise in Canada, she told The Canadian Press.
“No words can describe their personalities, their true spirit, the passion that they had for the work,” said Hezarkhani.
The couple was in Iran for about two weeks over the holidays to visit family, she said. Pourshaban and Madani had been living in Canada for about seven years, said Hezarkhani. Their daughter is a university student in the Lower Mainland. She was not on board the flight.
“This is a big loss for our family and it will be very hard to (get) over,” said Hezarkhani.
Majid Mahichi told the Tri-City News the couple had known each other since they were 16 years old as high school students living in northern Iran.
“He was the top student in the school,” said Mahichi, adding that his friend went on to become a doctor, like him, and eventually moving to Canada. “He was trying to be a good doctor,” he said. “They went to visit their parents but decided to come back.”
Mohammad Saket and Fatemah Kazerani
The deaths of North Vancouver couple Mohammad Hossein (Daniel) Saket and Fatemah Kazerani were confirmed by relative Farzad Taheri. Taheri said Saket was an engineer and Kazerani was a dental hygienist.
Ardalan Ebnoddin Hamidi, Hamyar Ebnoddin Hamidi and Niloofar Razzaghi
The Tri-City News confirmed that Ardalan Ebnoddin Hamidi, his wife Niloofar Razzaghi and their teenage son Hamyar Ebnoddin Hamidi were on their way home after a two-week vacation.
Sima Ghaffarzadeh, who went to an engineering university with the father and now runs the Persian magazine Hamyaari out of Port Moody, said many of those who died were headed back after Christmas holidays.
The president of the Vancouver-based Civic Association of Iranian-Canadians, Kei Esmaeilpour, told The Canadian Press that Hamidi, an engineer, and Razzaghi, who had just completed university training to become a teacher, lived in Vancouver with their 15-year-old son Hamyar Ebnoddin Hamidi.
Esmaeilpour said the family was vacationing in Iran. He said he worked with Ebnoddin Hamidi and the two had served on the civic association together for at least a decade.
Zeynab Asadi Lari and Mohammad Asadi Lari
Brother and sister Zeynab Asadi Lari and Mohammad Asadi Lari died in the crash, the Vancouver Sun reported.
According to social media posts, the pair were studying in Vancouver, and their father is an official in the Iranian government.
Both said they had studied at UBC, and Mohammad is listed as the co-founder of the STEM fellowship, a youth-run Canadian non-profit organization that uses mentors to give students skills in data science and scholarly writing.
The University of British Columbia confirmed to the Canadian Press that the Laris had attended the university. The school’s president, Santa Ono, said in a statement that he was “profoundly saddened.”
Zeynab Asadi Lari enrolled in 2016 in the bachelor of science program as a biology major, while Mohammad Asadi Lari graduated in 2018 with a bachelor of science degree in cellular, anatomical and physiological sciences with honours standing, the statement said.
— With files from the Vancouver Sun, North Shore News, Tri-City News and The Canadian Press