Toronto couple killed in Iran plane crash hours before they were due to arrive for niece’s birth

Click to play video: 'GTA woman gives birth as brother and sister-in-law killed in Iran plane crash' GTA woman gives birth as brother and sister-in-law killed in Iran plane crash
A couple travelling on doomed Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was heading to Toronto for the birth of their niece. Farah Nasser has the tragic story about birth and death – Jan 10, 2020

Friends of Iman and Parinaz Ghaderpanah say the Toronto couple were anxious getting on Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752.

“They didn’t feel comfortable,” said friend Kasra Soltan.

The flight bound for Kyiv took off hours after Iran had fired missiles at two bases in Iraq that house American and Canadian troops. Parinaz spoke to another friend on WhatsApp from the tarmac, telling her to pray for them.

“I think they felt it,” says the couple’s friend, Reza Nazer.

READ MORE: Weekend vigils planned in Toronto as funerals underway for victims of Iran plane crash

Soltan said they had booked the flight weeks ago for a very specific reason. Iman’s sister was about to give birth to her first child at North York General Hospital. If the crash hadn’t happened, the couple would have landed in Toronto just before their niece’s birth. 

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Nazer told Global News Iman’s sister delivered a healthy baby girl at around 3 p.m. on Thursday.

“(The) first few hours we didn’t tell her, we wanted a safe delivery, safe mom, then after a few hours we told her… It was horrible,” said Soltan, who was at the hospital with family members.

“Everybody in the hospital cried, that’s what I can tell you — even the nurses, the doctors, whoever was in the hospital.”

READ MORE: Toronto-area family of 3, several students among 57 Canadians killed in Iran plane crash

Their friends, who are now grieving the couple, described them as “lovebirds.” The couple met when they were very young and got married around a decade ago. 

Iman would constantly tell his friends how deeply he loved his wife Parinaz.

“He always told me, ‘I knew Parinaz since the first day she was born I was in love with her,'” Soltan said.

“He was three or four years old when they met and then they were always together always.”

A photo taken of Iman and Parinaz Ghaderpanah sent moments before take off. Reza Nazer / Global News
Iman and Parinaz Ghaderpanah on vacation. . Global News

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