Ten University of Alberta-affiliated people were among those listed on the flight manifest of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS 752 which crashed, killing all onboard.
All 176 passengers and crew onboard the flight were killed approximately six minutes after the plane took off from Tehran’s main airport, Imam Khomeini International Airport. The flight was heading from Iran to Kyiv, Ukraine.
Iranian officials say a mechanical issue brought down the Boeing 737-800 plane and that air traffic controllers could not communicate clearly with the flight before it went down. The crash happened hours after Iran launched ballistic missiles on two Iraqi bases hosting U.S. and other countries’ troops.
A passenger list from Ukraine International Airlines listed the following U of A community members as being on the flight:
- Mohammad Mahdi Elyasi
- Arash Pourzarabi
- Ghazal Nourian
- Elnaz Nabiyi
- Pouneh Gorji
- Pedram Mousavi
- Saba Saadat
- Sara Saadat
- Mojgan Daneshman
- Nasim Rahmanifar
Pedram Mousavi is listed as a professor in the faculty of engineering within the department of mechanical engineering. Mousavi, along with his wife, Mojgan Daneshmand, and their daughters, Daria and Dorina, are also listed on the same flight manifest. Daneshmand is listed as a professor in the faculty of engineering and a Canada Research Chair in Engineering.
Arash Pourzarabi and Pouneh Gorji are both listed as part of the grad research assistant fellowship in the department of computing science for the faculty of science. Pourzarabi is also a teaching assistant.
Elnaz Nabiyi is listed as the grad research assistant fellowship for the Alberta School of Business.
Sara Saadat is an alumna of the U of A.
Mojgan Daneshmand is a professor in the faculty of engineering, specifically within the electrical and computer engineering department.
Nasim Rahmanifar is listed as a graduate research assistant and student in the department of mechanical engineering.
University of Alberta Media Relations said they could not confirm the people at this time, but that a statement would be published later on January 8. The university released the confirmed list on January 9. It is included at the bottom of this article.
David Turpin, U of A president, said in a statement that the university suffered a “devastating loss” and that flags at the institution would be lowered to half-mast in recognition of those who died.
“I want to express my heartfelt grief,” Turpin said. “Words simply cannot express the loss I know we all are feeling. On behalf of the University of Alberta, I wish to extend our deepest condolences to the families, friends, colleagues and loved ones of the victims of this tragedy. You have the sincerest sympathy and support of all those on campus.”
“Ours is a closely interconnected community, and we grieve with everyone touched by this terrible loss— friends, classmates, roommates, professors, students, mentors, and colleagues,” he said.
“Counselling and other services are available to students, staff, faculty, and others in our community,” he added. “I encourage anyone impacted to reach out and seek the support you need during this time.”
Other U of A spokespeople were contacted but did not respond to requests for comment at the time of publication.
63 Canadians were onboard flight PS 752.
UPDATE: Confirmed list of those onboard affiliated to U of A released by university
On January 9, 2020 at 1:42 p.m. the U of A released the confirmed list of U of A-affiliated people who lost their lives on flight PS 752.
• Mojgan Daneshmand, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Radio Frequency Microsystems for Communication and Sensing, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
• Pedram Mousavi, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Intelligent Integrated Sensors and Antennas, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
• Pouneh Gorji, student, Master of Science, Department of Computing Science, Faculty of Science
• Elnaz Nabiyi, student, Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Accounting, Operations and Information Systems, Alberta School of Business
• Arash Pourzarabi, student, Master of Science Department of Computing Science, Faculty of Science
• Nasim Rahmanifar, student, Master of Science, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
• Saba Saadat, student, Bachelor of Science student, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science
• Amir Saeedinia, student, Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
• Sara Saadat, alumna, 2019 Bachelor of Science, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science
• Mohammad Mahdi Elyasi, alumnus, 2017 Master of Science, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
Vigil to remember all those lost on January 12, 2020 at Saville Sports Centre
Additionally, the U of A announced it would be hosting a vigil for the victims of the crash on Sunday January 12, 2020 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Saville Community Sports Centre, with doors opening at 2 p.m.
CORRECTION: Three additional names, Sara Saadat, Saba Saadat, and Mojgan Daneshman were added to the list of people onboard the flight who were affiliated with the U of A on January 8, 2020 at 10:50 a.m. The tenth name, Nasim Rahmanifar, was added at 11:35 a.m. the same day. The Gateway regrets this error.
UPDATE: The statement from President of the University of Alberta David Turpin was released after initial publication. At 10:55 a.m. on January 8, 2020 the article was updated to incorporate his remarks on the matter.
UPDATE: The confirmed list of names from the U of A and the announcement of the vigil were added to the article at 3:45 p.m. on January 9, 2020.