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CASE STUDY: Assistance Report - Catastrophic crash of Ukraine International Airline Flight Number 752

Date: 2/2/2020
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CASE STUDY: Assistance Report - Catastrophic crash of Ukraine International Airline Flight Number 752

Shortly after take-off on 8th January 2020, a Boeing 737 of Ukraine International Airlines, Flight 752 from Tehran to Kyiv tragically crashed, killing all 176 passengers and crew. A week after the event and following many questions, media coverage and diplomatic work, families of Canadian victims were referred to our Core Partner Iran Assistance for the delicate and complicated task of returning their loved one’s mortal remains.


With diplomatic relations between Canada and Iran ceasing in 2012, a support structure needed to be quickly put in place involving the Canadian Interests Section of the Italian Embassy in Tehran and government representatives flown out from Canada.


Identification posed a complex challenge. The devastating nature of the crash meant that personal IDs and documentation needed for the process was destroyed. While DNA matching could be obtained quickly from direct relatives living in Iran, others needed to be obtained from further afield and sent through Interpol, the international police coordination organisation.


Iran Assistance’s crucial task was to draw together the necessary documentation and initiate the process to enable repatriations to take place. Meetings with Canadian officials enabled that documentation to be cleared via their embassy in Turkey, or through the Italian Embassy. Despite the historical diplomatic challenges, Iran’s Foreign Ministry established a special help desk to accommodate verification where there was a lack of documents. While the Iranian authorities do not recognize dual citizenship, given the circumstances surrounding the incident and in an act of goodwill, the family wishes to return the mortal remains to Canada was granted.


The task was later extended to include a Swedish family.


 The sensitive work of organising transportation concerned ten families, accounting for 15 of the fatalities. Delays with the forensic authorities impacted on cargo and customs services. In spite of this, one week after Iran Assistance’s activation, six families could see the return of 8 of their loved ones. Within days, other formalities were dealt with, such as remaining DNA tests and lawyer verification on behalf of families, ensuring the return of the remaining few.


In total, mortal remains were repatriated for:

• Nine of which held dual Iranian and Canadian citizenship

• A British citizen

• A Canadian citizen

• Four Swedish Citizens, one of which held dual Iranian and Swedish citizenship


“I would like to thank all of Iran Assistances’ team working on these cases for their restless efforts and support that made it possible for the family victims of this tragic event to be able to have a closure and for their loved ones to rest in peace beside them”
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Iran assistance is an Assistance company founded in 1992 under 91891 policy number. As Iranians showed interest in assistance services, Iran assistance started its activity with acceptance of Central Insurance and continued with its activity till today.

About Iran Assistance

Iran assistance is an Assistance company founded in 1992 under 91891 policy number. As Iranians showed interest in assistance services, Iran assistance started its activity with acceptance of Central Insurance and continued with its activity till today.

Iran Assistance Members

More than four hundred companies, among thousands of families, benefit from Iran Assistance services.