Investigators were scrambling Wednesday to determine the cause of a crash that killed all 176 people on board a plane that came down shortly after takeoff from Tehran's International Airport. The Boeing 737 jet, operated by Ukraine International Airlines, took off early on Wednesday en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev with 82 Iranians, 11 Ukrainians, and 63 Canadians on board. Of those from Canada, 30 of the dead were from Edmonton.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he was "deeply saddened" by the news of the plane crash and extended sympathies on behalf of the provincial government. “Alberta has been enriched by a small but dynamic and highly educated Iranian community," Kenney said. "This is a terrible day for them, and I am sure that all Albertans join me in expressing our condolences to the entire community, which is affected by this disaster."
Edmonton is in mourning today — our community has suffered a terrible loss. We hold in our hearts and lift up in prayer all those who have been impacted by this disaster.
Let us pray: Almighty, all-merciful God, we mourn the tragic loss of life. Give the Iranian community in Edmonton and those who have been impacted by the tragedy the courage they need during this time of great suffering. Bless the work of first responders, and grant strength to the men, women, and children grieving the loss of loved ones and friends. Surround them with your consolation and comfort. Listen to the prayers of your faithful: that those weighed down by grief may find reassurance in your infinite goodness, comfort in their sadness, certainty in their doubt, and courage in their despair.
Through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, let us pray together: Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Thank you to Sandra Talarico for preparing our prayer.