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Scott Thompson: Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 and the unforgiving skies

Flowers and candles are placed in front of portraits of the flight crew members of the Ukrainian 737-800 plane that crashed on the outskirts of Tehran, at a memorial inside Borispil international airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. .
Flowers and candles are placed in front of portraits of the flight crew members of the Ukrainian 737-800 plane that crashed on the outskirts of Tehran, at a memorial inside Borispil international airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. . AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

Editor’s note: On Jan. 10, the Canadian government updated the number of Canadians killed in the Jan. 8 Ukraine International Airlines crash in Iran from 63 to 57.

When I’m stumped for an idea, I’ll often ask my family while sitting around the dinner table what I should write for this commentary.

Having a working wife and a 12- and a 17-year-old, the conversation can be quite dynamic — and definitely diverse.

It’s not that there aren’t usually numerous issues on any given day, but to be honest, I am overloaded with Donald Trump and strikes by teachers’ unions.

And if I am, perhaps you are, too.

READ MORE: Iran plane crash — Here’s what we know about the victims who lived in Canada

Sometimes I use the family feedback, sometimes I don’t. Today, I am.

Last night, when I asked the fam what they were thinking about, they brought up the horrific plane crash just outside Tehran, Iran.

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A sombre tone swept over the table.

Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 took off from Tehran bound for Kyiv, Ukraine, with connecting flights into Toronto.

At this point, both Iranian and Ukrainian officials say it appears to be a mechanical failure that brought the Boeing 737-800 down.

However, officials are warning about arriving at any conclusion before all of the facts are in — including information from the black boxes, which are in Iranian hands.

The plane was carrying 176 passengers and crew, 63 of whom were Canadians. A total of 138 passengers were to arrive in Toronto, and there were two McMaster students on board.

READ MORE: Many victims of Tehran plane crash part of growing Iranian diaspora in Canada

However, I was avoiding the issue simply because there’s no story until the investigation is complete, other than one of horrific loss for the poor victims and the pain their families must be enduring while awaiting answers.

There’s nothing that isn’t horribly tragic about this. There’s only great loss.

Perhaps some perspective can be added from experts in the aviation field.

On the show, aviation expert Jock Williams said we must wait for more details on this specific crash, but with more and more planes in the air, accidents are going to happen — even with the most modern technology.

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Flying can be merciless, and for obvious reasons. But so can automobiles.

Our condolences to all involved.

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML — Hamilton.​​​​