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Hundreds gather at U of T memorial for Iran crash victims

Last Updated Jan 13, 2020 at 6:25 am EDT

A massive turnout at a University of Toronto memorial for victims of the Ukrainian plane crash in Iran.

Hundreds from the community turned out to honour the citizens, residents, students and children who were on their way to Canada when the jetliner was shot down last week over Tehran.

One by one, the names and photos of each of the victims were read out while their photos were shown on a projection screen in the auditorium.

“Our hearts ache, and we are all pained to the core,” said Ali Ehsassi, the MP for Willowdale and one of the organizers of the event. “This country is mourning. Thousands have gathered at vigils from coast to coast.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who was among many dignitaries at the memorial, said “this is Canada’s loss.”

“Nothing will ever replace the brilliant lives that have been cut short. We will seek answers together. We will seek accountability together, and we will seek and we will get justice together.”

Flags at three of the U of T’s campuses have been lowered while the university offered sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

The University confirmed that six students were on the plane at the time of the crash.

Canadian officials say 57 Canadians were confirmed to be on board the flight with at least 138 passengers who were set to connect in Kyiv on the flight back to Canada.