Unsettling reaction poured in Thursday after the final report into the downing of Ukraine Airlines flight PS752 was released.
More than a year later, the victims’ families — even the Transportation Safety Board of Canada — are left with more questions than answers.
“I’m still waiting for her, honestly. I haven’t believed that she’s really gone.
“It’s just a long nightmare,” said Javad Soleimani, husband of Elnaz Nabiy, who was on flight PS752.
Ever since Soleimani lost his wife, he’s been looking for answers.
The final report from Iran’s civil aviation body blamed “human error” as the reason why the Revolutionary Guard shot down a jetliner minutes after it took off from Tehran on Jan. 8 last year.
All 176 people on board were killed, including 55 Canadian citizens, 30 permanent residents and dozens of others bound for Canada. Thirteen of those people called Edmonton home.
The report didn’t provide a detailed explanation or evidence about the underlying factors that caused Iran’s military to fire two surface-to-air missiles at Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752.
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board says Iranian officials failed to provide evidence that a passenger jet was shot down by mistake early last year, leaving key questions unanswered as Iran’s military effectively investigated itself.
It is unusual for the TSB to comment on the results of a report into an incident that took place in another country.
“All of the families of the victims are stuck on Jan. 8 because we didn’t have any closure, we don’t know exactly what happened that night,” Soleimani said.
Soleimani and other families now forced to confront their grief again after Iran issued its final report.
Parents of University of Alberta mechanical engineering PhD student Amir Hossein Saeedinia, who also died on the flight, said the report is unacceptable.
“I read it page by page, it was a torture to me every page that I read. Their lies to attempt to hide the truth, it made me sad, I cried,” Amir’s father Masoud Saeedinia said.
Iran’s report echoes what the Iranian government has claimed for a year that human error caused the tragedy.
“It does not explain any of the underlying factors behind why the missiles were launched at PS752, which is the stated cause of the accident,” Transportation Safety Board Chair Kathy Fox said.
“In short, the report says what happened but it doesn’t answer the why.”
The families said they believe the attack was intentional, but want to know why it happened. They want the Canadian government, Ukraine and other countries to take this matter to the International Court of Justice for real answers.
The Canadian government also appointed a special group of investigators to look into this crash. They are acting separately from the TSB, and are expected to file a report in the coming weeks.
— With files from Jordan Press, The Canadian Press