Iran believed to have shot down airliner, perhaps by mistake: Trudeau

Prime Minister tells media the strike that killed all onboard could have been unintentional

Rescue workers search the scene where a Ukrainian plane crashed as the bodies of victims in body bags lie on the ground, in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says intelligence from multiple sources indicates that an Iranian missile downed the Ukraine International Airlines flight that crashed near Tehran on Wednesday.

He says the strike might have been unintentional.

Trudeau was providing an update amid multiple reports earlier Thursday that pointed the finger at Iran for the downing of a the plane, killing all on board including 138 people who were headed to Canada.

“The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. This may well have been unintentional,” Trudeau told a Parliament Hill news conference Thursday afternoon.

Trudeau said he knows the news will come as a shock to grieving families.

Ukrainian officials have said a missile is on their list of potential causes for the crash.

The plane crashed minutes after taking off from Tehran’s airport on Wednesday.

Trudeau repeatedly said there needs to be a complete and thorough investigation to get “a complete picture of what happened.”

He said it was too soon to blame the U.S., which triggered a chain of events that led to the crash with its killing of a top Iranian general last week. He said there needs to be further investigation.

The crash came after a week of soaring tensions in the Middle East, occurring just hours after Iran launched missile attacks on bases in Iraq where American and allied troops are stationed. Iran said the attacks were retaliation for the American killing of Maj.-Gen. Qassem Suleimani near Baghdad.

Earlier Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump suggested he believes Iran was responsible, without laying direct blame.

“Somebody could have made a mistake on the other side,” Trump said in a Washington news conference, noting the plane was flying in a “pretty rough neighbourhood.”

“Some people say it was mechanical,” Trump added. “I personally don’t think that’s even a question.”

Trudeau said he had no comment on what Trump had said.

Iran’s civil aviation authority is leading the investigation, under international rules for probes of such crashes. The organization said Thursday it had invited Canadian investigators from the Transportation Safety Board to join a growing team probing the crash.

Trudeau said Canadian consular officials are headed to Turkey and that Iran would be open to issuing visas so they could be granted access to the country. He said Iran has indicated “an openness” to Canada taking part in an investigation. Canada and Iran broke off diplomatic relations in 2012.

READ MORE: Newlyweds, professors, students among Edmonton victims of plane crash in Iran

ALSO READ: ‘Highly likely’ Iran downed Ukrainian jetliner, U.S. officials say

The Canadian Press and Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Flight 752 crash in Iran

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

City to request conservation officer

Predatory wildlife appear to be bolder

City auditors reports are in

“We are now playing catch-up on all major assets,” CFO said

Tourism Prince Rupert to benefit from grant funding

Redirect dollars for recovery and travel inside B.C.

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read