Flags lowered to half mast across Canada to honour plane crash victims

The Canadian flag on the Peace Tower in Ottawa was lowered in honour of flight 753 victims, as well as flags across Canada.

Across the country, Canadian flags have been set to half mast to honour those who lost their lives in the Ukrainian plane crash on Wednesday. The crash claimed the lives of all 176 passengers on board—63 of them were Canadian and many more called Canada home.

Prime Minister Trudeu said that the flight was going from Tehran to Kiev. Of the 176 passengers, 138 were connecting to Canada.

The Peace Tower in Ottawa had its flag lowered to half mast after it was requested by Trudeau. Many other buildings around the country have followed suit and lowered their flags as well.

Some wondered why there was such a high number of Canadaians on flight 752. Research director and member of the ICC, Younes Zangiabadi, gave CBC his insight on the subject. He said that the options for travel between Canada and Iran being limited and winter break ending were contributing factors.

Zangiabadi noted, “Unfortunately, because of sanctions, there are not many options available to the Iranian-Canadian community to travel to Iran, and the ones that are available are not very affordable.”

Ever since 2012, when diplomatic relations between Canada and Iran broke off, travellers have had limited choice and been forced to take connecting flights.

Zangiabadi noted that this is a common time of year for Canadians to visit their relatives in Iran.

He said, “We hear that most of the people, especially the students, had gone to Iran for winter holidays and were just coming back now as school is starting.”

“I personally know nine people who were on the flight, and they all went to Iran for holidays and they were just getting back—which unfortunately never happened.”

Other victims of the crash were from the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Iran, Sweden, Germany and Afghanistan.