Student onboard Ukrainian plane tweeted minutes before crash

Mojtaba Abbasnezhad was one of six University of Toronto students who died in the plane crash.

Jan 9, 2020, 5:47 pm

Tech

Tiffanie Drayton 

Tiffanie Drayton

Cumulo Nimbus/YouTube sorush_ab/Twitter

A Ph.D. student from Toronto seemingly tweeted a chilling message minutes before the plane he was on crashed in Iran, killing him and 175 others.

Mojtaba Abbasnezhad was one of six students from the University of Toronto who died in the plane crash. Flight PS752 left Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran at 6:10am local time on Wednesday and was destined for Kyiv, Ukraine.

A tweet believed to be posted by Abbasnezhad was translated from Persian by journalist Negar Mortazavi on Twitter.

“I predicted that the war would start right before my flight. Forgive me for my good and bad deeds,” Mortazavi’s final tweet reads.

The doomed Boeing 737 passenger jet was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members. It is reported that there are no survivors. Sixty-three of the passengers were reportedly Canadian.

The crash happened shortly after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing U.S. soldiers, leaving many to speculate whether the events were related.

During a news conference held on Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the aircraft was indeed shot down by Iranian missiles.

“We have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence. The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile,” Trudeau said, adding that it might have been an unintentional act.

The University of Toronto issued a tribute on its website for the victims involved in the crash.

“On behalf of the entire University of Toronto community, I want to say how deeply saddened we are, and how concerned we are for the families and friends of those who lost their lives. We are continuing to gather information, and taking care to respect the privacy and wishes of all involved,” the tribute reads. “We are all heartbroken.”

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H/T Evening Standard

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*First Published: Jan 9, 2020, 5:47 pm