With high tensions raging between the US and Iran, another tragedy has hit the Middle East. Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 heading to Kyiv, Ukraine crashed shortly after take off  from Tehran, killing the 167 passengers and 9 crew members aboard the flight. Passengers aboard were from several countries including Iran, Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan, Germany and Britain. The nationalities were reveled in a tweet from Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Vadym Prystaiko, following the accident.

Flowers and candles are placed in front of portraits of the flight crew members of the Ukrainian 737-800 plane that crashed on the outskirts of Tehran, at a memorial inside Borispil international airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. A Ukrainian airplane carrying 176 people crashed on Wednesday shortly after takeoff from Tehran's main airport, killing all onboard, Iranian state TV and officials in Ukraine said. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has since spoken about the 138 empty seats on a plane that landed in Toronto on Wednesday afternoon, that should have been occupied by passengers connecting from the crashed aircraft. Trudeau informs that Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, is expected to have dialogue with Iranian foreign minister as he stresses the need for a thorough investigation into the crash.

While the tragedy’s cause is still unknown, Iran's Civil Aviation Organisation (CAO) published comments from the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Authority, Ali Abedzadeh, about the investigation, "this accident will be investigated by Iran's aviation organisation but the Ukrainians can also be present." Transport Minister Marc Garneau says it’s too early to say what caused a plane to crash in Iran but he says it’s clear that something “very unusual” happened.

Iranian authorities are working through the debris at the crash site south-west of Tehran.

A CNN report states Ukrainian International Airlines vice president of operations, Ihor Sosnovsky has issued a statement on Wednesday that given the level of experience the crew had,“error probability is minimal. We do not even consider such a chance.”

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