Sat | Sep 26, 2020

Bodies of 11 Ukrainians killed in Iran plane crash sent home

Published:Sunday | January 19, 2020 | 3:49 PM
In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, honour guards carry a coffin of one of the eleven Ukrainian victims of the Ukrainian 737-800 plane that crashed on the outskirts of Tehran, during a memorial ceremony at Borispil international airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, January 19, 2020. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The bodies of the 11 Ukrainians who died when an Iranian missile shot down a passenger plane have arrived in Ukraine on Sunday for a farewell ceremony.

They were among the 176 people killed in the January 8 catastrophe, when a Ukrainian Airlines plane heading to Kyiv was brought down shortly after takeoff from Tehran.

Iran acknowledged three days later that the plane was mistakenly hit by an anti-aircraft missile.

On Sunday, the bodies were brought to Kyiv’s Boryspil Airport aboard a Ukrainian air force plane. An honour guard solemnly carried the coffins into the airport terminal, where they are to stand until the evening for mourners to pay their respects.

Nine of the Ukrainians who died were crew members on the Boeing 737-800.

Iran admitted to shooting down the plane only after officials in several Western countries said they had evidence a missile caused the catastrophe.

Iran’s initial claims that engine failure brought down the plane angered Ukrainians, who also say Iran should pay compensation and should be more forthcoming about the circumstances.

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