First-year University of Victoria student Roja Omidbakhsh has been identified as one of 176 victims of the Tehran air crash. (LinkedIn)

First-year UVic student among the 176 victims of Iran plane crash

Roja Omidbakhsh identified as UVic student killed in crash

A first-year University of Victoria student was among the 176 passengers killed in a plane crash in Iran’s capital on Wednesday morning.

Saul Klien, professor and dean of the Gustavson School of Business, confirmed she was a student in the bachelor of commerce program. “Our hearts and prayers go out to her family and friends in this tragic loss,” he told Black Press Media in an email.

Roja Omidbakhsh’s name was on the passenger manifest released by Ukraine International Airlines and is identified in social media posts as a student at UVic, according to a statement on the university’s website.

At least 11 people from B.C. were on the Boeing 737-800. Dozens of Canadians — some believed to be university students — were among those killed when Ukranian International Airlines Flight PS752 crashed minutes after takeoff from Tehran’s main airport.

Omidbakhsh was in professor Mark Colgate’s commerce class for her first term at UVic.

“Roja was very positive and had a keen interest in marketing. She was on the pathway to complete a bachelor of commerce,” Colgate said in a statement. “We’re heartbroken that this happened and our condolences go to her family and classmates.”

RELATED: UPDATE: At least 10 people from B.C. among victims in fatal Iran plane crash

No one on the plane survived.

The plane was en route to Kyiv when it went down in a field. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said the plane was carrying 63 Canadians, 82 Iranians, 11 Ukrainian passengers, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three Britons.

Direct flights between Iran and Canada have not flown since 2012, and there are no diplomatic relations between the two countries. The route from Tehran-Kiev-Toronto was a popular and inexpensive one.

READ ALSO: 176 killed in Ukrainian airlines crash near Tehran

UVic president Jamie Cassels extended condolences on behalf of the university. “The University of Victoria expresses its sympathy to all of the families and friends of those who perished in the crash,” Cassels said. “It is always a profound loss for the entire community when we lose someone, and our hearts and thoughts to out to Roja’s loved ones. UVic extends its deepest condolences as we join in mourning her loss.”

According to Cassels, counselling and support is available to members of the campus community who may have been affected by this tragic event.

Ukrainian authorities initially said it appeared mechanical failure was to blame, but later walked that back, saying nothing had been ruled out.

With files from the Canadian Press and Ashley Wadhwani

Flight 752 crash in Iran

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Rescue workers carry the body of a victim of a Ukrainian plane crash in Shahedshahr, southwest of Tehran, Iran, on Jan. 8. A Ukrainian airplane carrying 176 people crashed on Wednesday shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s main airport, killing all onboard. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Just Posted

Colwood man to ride 400 kilometres to fight kids cancer

Man riding for a beloved family member who died from leukemia at 13-years-old

Saanich woman completes 10 marathons, raises double her initial goal amount

Over $20,000 raised for Victoria Hospitals Foundation

UPDATED: Missing 25-year-old Saanich woman found Saturday

Yuhan Jin thought to be travelling by foot or bus, carrying two suitcases

Peninsula businesses launch amidst COVID-19

New music school, martial arts studio, pet food store, welcomed with warm community response

Victoria program helps businesses shift swiftly in wake of COVID-19

Bring Back Victoria helps businesses open patios, create welcoming, safe spaces for customers

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Most Read