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Construction industry touched by Iranian plane tragedy

Russell Hixson
Construction industry touched by Iranian plane tragedy

WINNIPEG, MAN. — Among the Canadians killed in a downed plane in Iran are several members of the construction community.

All 176 people on board Ukrainian Airlines flight PS752 were killed near Tehran shortly after takeoff on Jan. 8. Sixty-three of them were Canadians.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that intelligence indicates the passenger plane was likely shot down by accident by an Iranian missile.

Among those who perished were Winnipeg couple Madhi Sadeghi and Bahareh Hajesfandiari who were civil engineers at Fresh Projects Design Builders and Marwest Construction, respectively. They were travelling with their daughter Anisa Sadeghi.

“We’re deeply saddened to learn that two of the passengers on Flight PS752 were employees with our member companies,” said representatives of the Winnipeg Construction Association in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the staff at both firms, as well as the friends and family of Sadeghi and Hajesfandiari and everyone else affected by Wednesday morning’s tragedy in Iran.”

Marwest expressed its condolences on social media, saying: “We lost someone today in the #ps752 crash in Iran and it truly hurts. Bahareh was a vital team member on 300 Main. She moved us all with her kindness, intelligence, and resilience. We will miss you. May you and your family Rest In Peace.”

The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) also expressed their condolences in a statement, saying, “We would like to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Sadeghi and Hajesfandiari, as well as the other passengers on Flight PS752. Our thoughts are with them and everyone else affected by this tragedy.”

According to the Canadian Press the family was in Iran to visit relatives over the holidays. In Winnipeg they were involved in the local Iranian community. Mahdi Sadeghi was a board member for the Iranian association and Hajesfandiari volunteered at a Persian school.

The Canadian Press also reported that Montreal’s Ecole de technologie superieure (ETS) confirmed a married couple, Arvin Morattab and Aida Farzaneh, were among the dead. Both had studied for PhDs at the school, and Farzaneh was lecturing in construction engineering.

“All the ETS community offers its most sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of Ms. Farzanah and Mr. Morattab, as well as to their teachers and colleagues,” the school wrote in a statement.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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