Three children among the Swedes reported dead in Iran plane crash

Three children among the Swedes reported dead in Iran plane crash
A memorial to the Ukrainian flight crew of the plane that crashed in Iran. Photo: AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
A total of 17 people resident in Sweden were on the Ukrainian flight that crashed in Iran on Wednesday morning, according to Scandinavian media reports.

The airline had earlier said that ten of the 176 passengers were Swedish, but a further seven lived in the country according to Dagens Nyheter. All those on board died when it crashed minutes after take-off.

Madhi Emami, a 60-year-old man who moved to Sweden from Iran in the 1980s, an 18-year-old student from Stenungsund, and two young boys from the Stockholm area were among the victims, according to reports in Swedish media.

The daughter of Emami, who was flying back home to Sweden from Iran after visiting relatives in Iran, named him as one of the victims on Thursday:

“When I saw the list of passengers… the world ended,” Madeleine Persson told newspaper Expressen.

Persson and her mother said that the Swedish foreign ministry and police had not yet confirmed to them that he was on board the flight, but that authorities had approached the family for DNA to help identify Emami.

“We understand if families feel that the process is taking long. This work needs to be carried out with great care. We cannot get it wrong,” the foreign ministry told Expressen.

In Stenungsund, a town north of Gothenburg in western Sweden, the flag was flown at half-mast at a local school in honour of a 18-year-old student who died in the crash, just months before high school graduation.

“He was very kind. Kind and sweet,” one of his former classmates told Dagens Nyheter.

Swedish authorities have confirmed that Swedish citizens are among the victims. There has been no offiical confirmation of the number, but Foreign Minister Ann Linde said that they may be “more than 10”.

According to reports in Swedish media based on the airline's passenger lists, 17 Swedes were on board the flight, including three children aged seven, nine and 15.

The burning Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 was trying to turn back to Tehran's Imam Khomeini international airport when it went down in the early hours of Wednesday, Iranian investigators said on Thursday. The black boxes have both been recovered.

Ukrainian investigators were travelling to Iran to help in a probe to identify what caused the crash, with a technical fault, drone collision, terrorist or a missile attack all being explored as possible causes, The Guardian cited a senior Ukrainian security official as saying.

Vadym Prystaiko, the foreign minister of Ukraine, said on Wednesday that victims included 82 from Iran, 63 from Canada, ten from Sweden, four from Afghanistan, three from Germany and three from the United Kingdom, as well as two passengers and nine crew from Ukraine.

Swedish residents worried any family members may have been on board the flight are urged to contact the Swedish foreign ministry on +46 (0)8 405 92 00. 


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