Four UBC community members named among UIA flight 752 crash victims

UBC has just confirmed that three former UBC students and a postdoctoral research fellow were among those who were killed during the Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) flight 752 in Iran.

Zeynab Asadi Lari, Mohammadhossein Asadi Lari and Niloofar Razzaghi were all former students, and Dr. Mehran Abtahi was a postdoctoral research fellow at UBC.

Zeynab enrolled in the Bachelor of Science (BSc) program in 2016 as a biology major, and Mohammad graduated from UBC in 2018 with a BSc in cellular, anatomical and physiological sciences with honours.

Razzaghi also graduated with a BSc in mathematics in 2010 and a Bachelor of Education in 2018. Her husband Ardalan Ebnoddin-Hamidi and their 15-year-old son Kamyar Ebnoddin-Hamidi were also named among the victims of the crash.

Dr. Abtahi was also among those killed in the plane crash. He joined the department of civil engineering at UBC this past October as a postdoctoral research fellow.

On January 9, the university lowered the flags on both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses in memory of the victims of the UIA flight 752 crash.

The plane crashed shortly after taking off early Wednesday, killing all 176 passengers and crew. Amongst them were 63 Canadians, many of whom were students or faculty members around Canada.

On January 11, Iranian officials admitted to shooting down the passenger plane, after originally denying suggestions they were to blame, according to a BBC report.

In a statement released today, President Santa Ono gave a short tribute to the two former students as well as recognized the present difficult time for Iranian students, staff and faculty.

“On behalf of the UBC community, I wish to express my deepest condolences to their family, friends and loved ones,” reads the statement.

“This is a challenging time for UBC’s Iranian students, faculty and staff and we understand developments internationally and domestically in Iran are a cause of deep concern for them.”

The statement also details support services available on campus for students, staff and faculty including international student advisors and counselling services.

This article has been updated to include information about two additional community members who were victims of UIA flight 752, as well as information about the flags being lowered on both campuses to pay tribute to the victims.

This article has been updated with new information about the cause of the crash.