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Iran Shot Down Ukraine-Bound Boeing Jet, Canada's Trudeau Says, Citing Intelligence

Sixty-three of the 176 passengers on board Ukraine International Flight 752 were Canadian citizens.
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A Ukrainian flight that crashed in a fireball on the same night that Iran bombed the Al Asad airbase in Iraq that housed U.S. forces was shot down by an anti-aircraft missile system, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday. 

Evidence indicates that the downing of the flight was unintentional, Trudeau said.

He said Ukrainian investigators will have access to the black box from the plane, though Canada would also like to have access to the data from the flight-recording device. 

Officials from the Pentagon, Iraqi intelligence and U.S. intelligence have told multiple news outlets the same thing that Trudeau told reporters Thursday. 

Ukraine International Flight 752 crashed shortly after takeoff from the airport in Tehran on Tuesday, after Iran began a targeted bombing campaign against U.S. forces in Iraq. 

The aircraft is believed to have been struck by a Russian made Tor M1 surface-to-air missile system known to NATO as Gauntlet, Newsweek reported.

Bloomberg reported that two missiles were detected from an Iranian battery minutes after the jet took off. 

The New York Times reported American officials said the intelligence community had a “high level of confidence” that an Iranian missile accidentally brought down the jet.

President Donald Trump was asked Thursday about the news reports and responded, "I have a feeling that something very terrible happened."

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Trump also said he doubted Iran's initial report that the plane went down because of technical issues. U.S. officials told NBC News that spy satellite evidence suggests that the plane was shot down by Iranian missiles. 

None of the 176 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing  (BA)  737-800 survived. 

Iranian officials were quick to say that the plane’s demise resulted from a technical failure, but numerous aviation experts, including Ukraine officials, cast doubt on those findings.

Iran has since released a preliminary report saying that the plane attempted to turn back to the airport shortly after takeoff. Flight 752 disappeared from radar screens at about 8,000 feet.

On his Facebook page Ukraine National Security & Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov put forward numerous theories about what downed the plane, including a possible collision with a drone or other flying object; technical issues; and a possible explosion inside the plane as a result of a terrorist act.

Boeing’s stock took a tumble in the aftermath of the crash, the third involving a Boeing plane in under 18 months. But the stock has since rebounded as the official cause of the crash has been called into question. 

Boeing shares jumped 1.7% following the latest reports.

In separate news, Airbus  (EADSY) , Boeing’s chief European rival, said it would be investing $40 million in its production facility in Alabama to increase production of its A320 jet, the chief competitor to Boeing’s beleaguered 737 MAX plane. 

Airbus is looking to increase production to seven jets per month from five by 2021.