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.
"The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface to air missile. It may have been unintentional," Trudeau told reporters. "Canadian officials must be immediately granted access to Iran in order to participate in a thorough investigation." Trudeau did not share what specific evidence he had that an Iranian missile was responsible for the plane's crash.
Sixty-three of the 176 passengers on board Ukraine International Flight 752 were Canadian citizens.
There were reports that the black box on the plane had been damaged in the crash, but Trudeau said that he was told that Ukrainian investigators would be granted access to the in-flight recording device.
He did not say whether Canadian investigators would be granted the same access, but he did say that he was pushing for access to that evidence.
“The families of the victims and all Canadians want answers. I want answers. That means closure, transparency, accountability and justice,” Trudeau said. “This government will not rest until we get that.”
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 that American officials said the intelligence community had a “high level of confidence” that an Iranian missile accidentally brought down the jet.
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 were rising 1.5% to $336.47 on Thursday following the latest reports.