Sidney will host a vigil Sunday for the 57 Canadians who died Jan. 8 when an Iranian air defence missile struck Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 following take-off from Tehran’s airport. One of the Canadian victims was first-year University of Victoria student Roja Omidbakhsh (LinkedIn)

Sidney hosts vigil for victims of plane shot down by Iranian missile

All 176 passengers, including 57 Canadians, died on Jan. 8

Sidney’s SHOAL Centre will be hosting a vigil Sunday to remember the victims of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 .

“Please come and stand by our Iranian Brothers and Sisters to remember the tragic loss of 57 Canadians,” said Sidney’s Town Crier Kenny Podmore, who is organizing the event.

Sunday’s vigil will take place between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Organizers had initially scheduled it for Sidney’s Beacon Park but moved indoors because of weather.

All 176 passengers died after an Iranian air-defence missile struck the Boeing 737-800 shortly after it had taken off from the Iranian capital of Tehran on Jan. 8.

At least a dozen victims were residents of British Columbia, including one Greater Victoria resident, Roja Omidbakhsh, who was attending the University of Victoria, as first-year bachelor of commerce student.

RELATED: ‘People are in shock’: Victoria prof. says Iran plane crash will reverberate across Canada

RELATED: First-year UVic student among the 176 victims of Iran plane crash

Iranian officials have admitted to shooting down the Ukrainian passenger plane, claiming human error, after having initally blamed engine failure for the crash.

The crash happened against the backdrop of escalating geo-political tensions between Iran and the United States, after U.S. forces had killed the Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani on Jan. 3, 2020 on Iraqi soil.

This attack on a top Iranian official intensified simmering tensions between the United States and Iran and their respective allies in the region and a number of leading voices including Maple Leaf Foods CEO Michael H. McCain have made the argument that the shot down plane represents collateral damage with McCain specifically blaming U.S. President Donald Trump.


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