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‘Heartbreaking’: officials offer condolences after plane crash in Iran kills 176

Click to play video: 'Ukrainian flight crashes in Iran, killing all 176 people onboard' Ukrainian flight crashes in Iran, killing all 176 people onboard
Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 has crashed near Tehran, Iran, killing all 176 people on board. Sixty-three of them were Canadian. Redmond Shannon reports on the devastation, and has the details on the Boeing aircraft – Jan 8, 2020

Several of Canada‘s government officials have offered their condolences after 176 people, including 63 Canadians, were killed in a plane crash near the Iranian capital of Tehran early Wednesday morning.

Ukraine’s minister of foreign affairs, Vadym Prystaiko, said 63 Canadians, 82 Iranians and 11 Ukrainians were on board the Boeing 737-800 aircraft; the Ukrainian nationals included two passengers and the nine crew. There were also 10 Swedish, four Afghan, three German and three British nationals.

Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was en route to Ukraine’s capital Kyiv when it crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport.

READ MORE: 63 Canadians killed in plane crash near Tehran, Ukrainian official says

The cause of the crash, which killed everyone aboard the flight, has not yet been determined.

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Here’s what Canadian government officials have said about the crash.

Click to play video: 'Video purportedly captures plane crash near Tehran' Video purportedly captures plane crash near Tehran
Video purportedly captures plane crash near Tehran – Jan 8, 2020

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences, calling the news “heartbreaking.”

“On behalf of all Canadians I want to express my deepest condolences to those who are mourning the loss of a loved one. Your loss is indescribable and this is a heartbreaking tragedy,” he told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday.

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Trudeau called for the crash to be “thoroughly investigated,” saying all Canadians’ questions need to be answered.

Of the 176 people on board the flight, 138 of the passengers on board were connecting to Canada, Trudeau said.

“I assure all Canadians that their safety and security is our top priority,” he said in an earlier statement. “We also join with the other countries who are mourning the loss of citizens.”

READ MORE: Ukraine airliner crash near Tehran kills all on board, Iranian official says

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne offered his “deepest condolences” to the victims of the crash.

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Click to play video: 'Mourners create makeshift memorial in Ukraine airport for deceased crew in Iran plane crash' Mourners create makeshift memorial in Ukraine airport for deceased crew in Iran plane crash
Mourners create makeshift memorial in Ukraine airport for deceased crew in Iran plane crash – Jan 8, 2020

“The situation remains extremely fluid,” he said. “I have been in touch with my Ukranian counterpart, and will continue to speak to all relevant authorities.”

Champagne said the government is “committed to working closely with international partners regarding any possible investigation” and said the ministry will “continue to keep Canadians informed as the situation evolves.”

Click to play video: 'Ukrainian airline involved in Iran crash says plane was one of its best' Ukrainian airline involved in Iran crash says plane was one of its best
Ukrainian airline involved in Iran crash says plane was one of its best – Jan 8, 2020

Marc Garneau, Canada’s minister of transportation, said his thoughts were with all those affected by the “heartbreaking tragedy.”

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Garneau said the ministry was in contact with its international counterparts and that Canada is offering “technical assistance” to the upcoming investigation.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland also expressed her condolences via Twitter Wednesday morning.

“Very sad news this morning,” she wrote. “My heartfelt sympathies to those with loved ones who tragically died on Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 from Tehran, including many Canadians aboard.”

READ MORE: What we know about Iran plane crash victims with Edmonton connections

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NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called the crash “devastating,” and offered his love to the families, friends and communities and to “everyone touched by this tragedy.”

READ MORE: Iran plane crash — Video appears to show fiery before and after scenes

“There are no words. 176 lives lost. 63 Canadians won’t be coming home,” he wrote in a tweet. “These families deserve clear answers, but whatever the cause, this is devastating.”

Click to play video: 'Aerial footage shows Ukrainian passenger jet crash site in Iran' Aerial footage shows Ukrainian passenger jet crash site in Iran
Aerial footage shows Ukrainian passenger jet crash site in Iran – Jan 8, 2020

In a tweet, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada Andrew Scheer said it was a “sad day” for Canada.

“My thoughts and condolences are with the families and friends of the victims of this horrific tragedy,” the tweet reads.

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The federal Conservative Party’s foreign affairs critic Erin O’Toole called the news of the crash “profoundly sad.”

“Many Canadians were flying home to Toronto & today families are waking up to tragedy,” O’Toole said in a tweet.

International reaction

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy extended his condolences to the families of the victims. His office said he had cut his visit to Oman short and was returning to Kyiv because of the crash.

“Our priority is to find the truth and everyone responsible for the tragedy,” he wrote in a Facebook statement.

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Click to play video: 'Mourners create makeshift memorial in Ukraine airport for deceased crew in Iran plane crash' Mourners create makeshift memorial in Ukraine airport for deceased crew in Iran plane crash
Mourners create makeshift memorial in Ukraine airport for deceased crew in Iran plane crash – Jan 8, 2020

Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada, said his “heart is broken.”

“We will have to go through this terrible pain together with our Canadian brothers and sisters,” he wrote in a tweet.

Shevchenko said Ukraine is “working with the Iranian authorities on the ground” to identify the deceased and “help their families.”

“Our deepest condolences to all those who lost their loved ones,” he wrote. “It is devastating.”

In a tweet on Wednesday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said the crash “deeply saddens all Iranians.”

“May they rest in peace,” the tweet reads.

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Germany’s foreign affairs minister Heiko Maas issued a statement on Wednesday, saying he was “deeply saddened” to learn of the crash.

“At this difficult time, our thoughts go out to the friends & families of the victims,” the statement reads.

READ MORE: Iran won’t give up black box from Tehran plane crash. Here’s what you need to know

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it was following the incident closely, and “stands prepared to offer Ukraine all possible assistance.”

“The United States calls for complete cooperation with any investigation into the cause of the crash,” the statement reads.

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Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven called for a “proper investigation” following the crash and offered his condolences.

“I have been told that Swedes have died in the terrible air crash in Iran,” he wrote in a tweet. “My thoughts go in this difficult moment to the dead, their families and their close relatives.”

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