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Remains of second Canadian PS752 crash victim returning to Canada

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The remains of a second Canadian killed when Iran shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 earlier this month will arrive back in Canada today, says the federal government’s point person on the crash.

Speaking at an event today in Toronto, Omar Alghabra, the parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, said fifteen families want their loved ones’ remains to be repatriated.

One body was returned yesterday, a second will arrive Wednesday and the government is in the process of repatriating another 13 victims, said the Liberal MP.

Alghabra said about 61 citizens and permanent residents have been buried in Iran according to their families’ wishes. 

Canada has been demanding that Iran turn over the “black box” flight recorders from the aircraft, which contain information critical to the crash investigation.

“There’s some progress but we remain vigilant,” said Alghabra. “We know families deserve an open, transparent and thorough investigation.”

Alghabra also announced that the federal government will match donations made to the Canada Strong Campaign to support victims’ families.

Mohamad Fakih, president of Paramount Fine Foods and founder of the Fakih Foundation, launched the national campaign nine days ago with a goal of raising $1.5 million. So far, the campaign has raised close to $600,000 to help those affected when Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down the Boeing 737-800 flight, killing all 176 passengers and crew on board.

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Mohamad Fakih and Toronto Mayor John Tory give a press conference about the Canada Strong campaign to help the families of those who died in the crash of Flight PS752. (Michael Wilson/CBC)

Alghabra said the government will match funds up to $1.5 million and the federal Department of Public Safety will work with the campaign to decide how best to spend the money.

Fifty-seven of those who died were Canadian citizens, 29 were permanent residents and dozens of others were travelling to Canada.

The government is giving the families of the Canadians and permanent residents $25,000 per victim to help cover the cost of immediate needs, such as funeral arrangements and travel.

Alghabra said that, so far, about a dozen families have reached out and five or six have received the money.

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