A Nigerian, Dauda Onoruoiza, has been confirmed to be among the 176 passengers and crew that were killed on Wednesday when a missile from the Iranian forces hit Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 departing for Kiev.
The missile destroyed the Boeing 737-800 aircraft few minutes after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport.
THISDAY learnt that Onoruoiza until his death worked with Boeing on a three-month training in Ukraine and was attached to the Boeing 737-800 to fly with and study the mechanical noise of the aircraft and report back to the company because the said plane was scheduled for maintenance on Monday, January 13, 2020 in Ukraine.
Iran admitted Saturday that it mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, blaming human error and “US adventurism”.
In a statement, the Iranian armed forces said it targeted the passenger plane unintentionally. It attributed the crash to radar activity and fear of US action.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake. My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.
Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 crashed Wednesday after take-off from Tehran’s airport. The crash came hours after Iran fired missiles at Iraqi military bases housing US troops in retaliation for a drone strike at Baghdad airport that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani.
After the missile operation in Iraq, US military flights around Iranian borders increased and Iranian military officials reported seeing aerial targets coming toward strategic centres, according to a statement by Iranian armed forces headquarters.
Reports indicate that the aircraft came close to a sensitive IRGC military centre at an altitude and flight condition that resembled hostile targeting.
Under these circumstances, the aircraft was unintentionally hit, which unfortunately resulted in death of the many Iranian and foreign nationals,” the statement read.
The victims include 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three British nationals.