One year ago, dozens of Canadians were killed when a Ukrainian passenger plane crashed minutes after takeoff near Tehran. Of those victims, 13 had connections to Edmonton. Here is a timeline of the days, weeks and months after the tragedy.
January 7, 2020:
- Approx. 5:30 p.m. ET: All Air Canada flights in and out of Dubai are rerouted to avoid flying over Iran after Iran begins missile attacks on U.S. positions in Iraq.
- 9:42 p.m. ET: Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 departs Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport.
- 9:44 p.m. ET: Iran fires the first of two missiles at Flight PS752. The flight crashes shortly after, killing all 176 people on board.
January 8, 2020: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces that initial reports indicate 63 Canadians were killed. That number is later corrected to 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents. It is the largest loss of Canadian lives in aviation since the Air India bombing in 1985.
January 9, 2020: Trudeau is informed that Canada has intelligence indicating the plane was shot down by Iranian surface-to-air missiles. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada sends one expert and one investigator to the crash site.
January 10, 2020: Trudeau meets with families of the victims in Toronto. Transport Canada tells Canadian air operators to not enter the airspace of Iraq and Iran. Near midnight eastern time, Iran admits it fired the missiles that caused the crash.
January 12, 2020: A vigil is held in Edmonton with 2,300 people in attendance.
January 14, 2020: Members of the RCMP’s National Security team arrive in Kyiv to work on a joint investigation with Ukraine.
January 17, 2020: The prime minister announces $25,000 per victim will be provided to families of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to help with immediate expenses.
January 22, 2020: The Government of Canada announces it will match private sector donations to a “Canada Strong” campaign for the families of the victims.
March 11, 2020: Iran commits to having the flight recorders analyzed within two weeks but misses that deadline, blaming the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 12, 2020: The RCMP’s deployment to Ukraine is suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 31, 2020: Prime Minister Trudeau appoints Ralph Goodale as special advisor. Goodale is tasked with meeting the needs and expectations of families in pursuing justice and compensation, identifying best practices for coping with international aviation disasters and offering advice for how such disasters can be prevented.
June 26, 2020: At a meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization Council, Iran commits to downloading the flight recorder data in France.
July 11, 2020: Iran releases its report, PS752 Accident Investigation – Factual Report in which it blames “human error” for the launch of the missiles. The Canadian government finds the report does not provide evidence to support those claims.
July 20, 2020: A team from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada spends the week in Paris analyzing data from the flight recorders.
August 23, 2020: The Government of Canada releases a preliminary report based on data obtained from the flight recorders. That data indicates the aircraft was performing as normal until a sound like a detonation is heard outside the plane. It’s believed that is the first missile. Despite considerable damage to the aircraft, the three crew members inside the cockpit can be heard controlling the situation without any indication of injury. But 19 seconds later it is believed the second missile hits, ending the recordings and downing the plane.
December 15, 2020: Ralph Goodale released his report Flight PS752: The long road to transparency, accountability and justice. His final reports includes more than a dozen recommendations.
December 30, 2020: Iran announces it will provide $150,000 US to families for each victim as compensation for the crash.
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