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Iran plane crash: Canada’s transport authority ‘cannot confirm’ who has the black boxes

In this Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 photo, rescue workers search the scene where a Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran.
In this Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 photo, rescue workers search the scene where a Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Ebrahim Noroozi

The Canadian Transportation Safety Board “cannot confirm” the location of the flight records from Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752.

That comes amid confusion and conflicting media reports about who currently has possession of the black boxes recovered from the passenger aircraft that Iran shot down last week after apparently mistaking it for an incoming hostile target.

READ MORE: What are black boxes, and why are they so important?

All 176 people on board, including 57 Canadians and more than 80 Iranians, died when the plane crashed near Tehran following the missile strike.

“Do you know where the black boxes are right now?” Global’s David Akin asked the TSB on Tuesday afternoon.

“We cannot confirm their location right now,” responded spokesperson Sophie Wistaff.

What a black box can say about the Iran plane crash
What a black box can say about the Iran plane crash

The confusion comes after a report from NBC News on Tuesday morning quoting Gholamhossein Esmaili, a spokesperson for Iran’s judiciary, saying the black boxes had been taken to France for decoding and assessment.

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However, that same report cited an official from France’s civil aviation authority as saying they did not have the black boxes and were not expecting them to be sent from Iran.

READ MORE: Without recent escalations, Iran plane crash victims would be ‘home with their families,’ says Trudeau

Global News also reached out to the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile but has not received a response.

An official from the TSB had told reporters in a press conference on Monday that the agency believed the black boxes were damaged but still in Iran.

That official cited media reports and photographs of the black boxes in those remarks.

With files from Global’s David Akin.