[Peter Paul Media] — A Ukraine International Airlines [UIA] Boeing 737 crashed minutes after takeoff from Iran early Wednesday killing all 176 people on board, the airline confirmed in a statement.
“UIA expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the air crash and will do everything possible to support the relatives of the victims,” the statement read.
Flight PS752 had 167 passengers and nine crew members aboard and was operated by a Boeing 737-800 NG, which had a scheduled maintenance done on Monday, UIA said.
Among the victims are 63 Canadians, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to those who have lost family, friends, and loved ones in this tragedy,” he said.
UIA has since suspended flights to and from Tehran and the investigation into the crash is ongoing. “Passengers will be rerouted, where possible, or offered a refund for unused flights. Passengers are advised to contact the place of ticket purchase.”
Boeing acknowledged the tragedy in a statement.
“This is a tragic event and our heartfelt thoughts are with the crew, passengers, and their families. We are in contact with our airline customer and stand by them in this difficult time. We are ready to assist in any way needed.”
“Tehran airport is anything but a simple one,” said Ihor Sosnovsky, UIA’s VP of Operations. “Therefore, for several years UIA has been using this airport to conduct training on Boeing 737 aircraft aimed at evaluating pilots’ proficiency and ability to act in emergency cases.”
Flight PS752’s flight crew comprised of three pilots with 31,200 hours of experience on the Boeing 737 combined. The crew was identified as Captain Volodymyr Gaponenko, Instructor Pilot Oleksiy Naumkin and First Officer Serhii Khomenko.
The airline has released dedicated phone numbers for relatives of passengers on the flight: 0 800 601 527 for calls from the Ukraine and +38 044 581 50 19 for calls from abroad.