TEHRAN, Iran — Two Canadians were reportedly among the 168 victims of an Iranian plane crash Wednesday involving a Russian-made jetliner that crashed shortly after leaving Tehran.
CTV News reports a 35-year-old Toronto woman, Nana Antashyam, and her three-year-old son, Edward Khachik, were headed to Armenia to visit relatives.
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The woman’s brother-in-law, Fred Khachik, told CTV News from Tehran that Antashyam’s husband believed his wife was in the early stages of pregnancy.
He said Antashyam was a classical pianist and a piano teacher who was headed to Armenia for her son’s baptism and to attend a wedding.
Khachik added that Antashyam — who had two sisters in Armenia — was a “wonderful young woman” who was “full of life” and that Edward was an “amazing kid” and very smart for his age.
Foreign Affairs in Ottawa has not yet confirmed that any Canadians were on board the Caspian Airlines aircraft.
The cause of the crash was not yet known. Investigators have recovered two of the three black boxes belonging to the jetliner, which was bound for Yerevan, Armenia.
The chief investigator, Ahmad Majidi, has said the cockpit voice and flight data recorders would likely be sent to the aircraft’s Russian manufacturers for analysis.
Most of the passengers were Iranians, many of them from Iran’s large ethnic Armenian community, as well as 11 members of Iran’s national youth judo team.
Five Armenian citizens were among the dead and Armenia on Thursday announced a one-day national state of mourning to mark the death of its citizens in the crash, according to the Russian news agency ITAR-Tass.
The Tu-154M jet had taken off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport and crashed about 16 minutes after takeoff, near the city of Qazvin, around 120 kilometres northwest of Tehran.