A family of three and a Greater Toronto Area dentist are among the 63 Canadians killed in a devastating plane crash in Iran.
CBC Toronto is working to learn more about the victims of the crash and will be updating this story throughout the day.
Omid Arsalani told CBC News on Wednesday he found out early Wednesday morning that his 30-year-old sister, Evin Arsalani, was among those who died. She was traveling back to Ajax, Ont., with her husband, Hiva Molani, 38, and one-year-old daughter Kurdia.
Omid Arsalani said the crash, the cause of which is still unknown, has left his family heartbroken.
“At this point I don’t care how it happened, all I care is that I lost my family members,” Arsalani said through tears in a phone call.
Arsalani says the trio arrived in Iran on Dec. 8 for a wedding.
The last time he spoke to his sister was Jan. 2, her 30th birthday.
“She was happy, she saw family members, all the people in the family she hasn’t seen in years,” Arsalani said.
CBC News has also confirmed the identies of the following victims who have ties to the GTA:
- Suzan Golbabapour
- Hiva Molani
- Alina Tarbhai
- Afifa Tarbhai
Alina Tarbhai was an administrative clerk at the Toronto office of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation. The union confirmed she was travelling with her mother to a funeral in Iran.
Aurora dentist also among deceased
On Wednesday morning, Aurora, Ont.-based dentist Parisa Eghbalian was also identified by her colleagues as being among the dead.
The University of Toronto is also monitoring the situation, as a number of the victims appear to be students.
Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752, bound for Kyiv, crashed Wednesday morning near a Tehran airport, killing all 167 passengers and nine crew members aboard.
It’s not uncommon for Iranians living or studying in Canada to fly via Ukraine.
Saranaz Barforoush, a journalism professor at the University of British Columbia, tweeted that the route has become more popular recently as the price of flights to Iran has sky-rocketed, something she attributes to the sanctions placed on the country.