After rising tensions between the USA and Iran, commercial flight PS752 was mistaken for a rocket and shot down by an Iranian defensive missile on 8 January. All 176 passengers on the flight died instantly. Of the victims, 57 were Canadian citizens and another 29 were permanent residents of the country. Kirby Frank (30), a Master’s student Biotechnology from Canada, experienced the aftershocks firsthand.
‘I remember seeing the news about the plane crash on social media around 3pm ET and by that evening it was being covered by every single news outlet. All the news channels were flooded with interviews with family members, experts and government officials.
The fact that almost all the Canadian passengers on that flight were coming back to Canada after visiting family hits really close to home. I was essentially doing the same thing at that time. The number of scientists and students on that flight is also shocking. Many of the victims were researchers or students linked to about twenty Canadian Universities
The whole country was in a state of mourning, especially Ontario, where most of the victims lived. It was a tragedy, but the plane crash also brought out a beautiful unity in our country. Vigils were held across Canada. And still today, all Canadians are mourning this senseless loss of life. These events serve as a reminder that in today’s globalized society, conflict doesn’t have to be geographically close to be felt deeply.
Initially, the Iranian government demanded that family members fly to Iran to claim the bodies of their loved ones. This was not only expensive, but almost impossible since the airspace was closed at that point. The thought of having to go through all that after a great loss is infuriating. Fortunately, the issue was solved and the victims’ remains have now been arriving in Canada one by one. The Canadian government will also make 25,000 Canadian dollars (17,250 euros) per victim available to families to assist with related costs.’
Tekst Inge Corino