Emotional memories shared during UWindsor memorial to honour Iran crash victims
The memorial service is being held in the university's Alumni Auditorium
Members of the Windsor community gathered at the University of Windsor in honour of five Windsorities who died after Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport on Wednesday.
The service took place inside the university's Alumni Auditorium, on the second floor of the CAW Student Centre.
Among the dead are Samira Bashiri who worked in a lab at the University of Windsor; her husband Hamidreza Setareh Kokab, who was a PhD student in mechanical engineering at the same institution; Zahra Naghibi a PhD student at the university's Turbulence and Energy Lab; Naghibi's husband Mohammad Abbas Pourghaddi; and Pedram Jadidi, who was a PhD student in civil engineering at the university.
Professor Shaohong Cheng recalls a special moment she shared with Jadidi after a research breakthrough.
"We were so excited we cheered together for this milestone in my research group. It was just like yesterday," said Cheng.
Watch Cheng talk about that personal memory:
Flight PS752 left Tehran around 6 a.m. local time, bound for Boryspil International Airport in Kiev, Ukraine.
A few minutes after takeoff, the plane crashed into the ground near Shahriar, Iran, killing 167 passengers and nine crew members. Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne announced on Friday the number of Canadian victims now stands at 57, down from an earlier figure of 63.
"I'm extremely grateful for having known her," said University of Windsor professor Rupp Carriveau about his student Naghibi.
Watch Carriveau describe the moment he found out something happened. He also shares a story about Naghibi:
Watch Lisa Porter, professor at the University of Windsor, talk about how Samira Bashiri was working on a cure for cancer inside the institution's lab:
University of Windsor president Robert Gordon issued a statement Wednesday, saying that the institution is "heartbroken by this news and we extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of everyone impacted by this terrible tragedy."
The University of Windsor is providing counselling services to students and staff, saying it's "key priority" in supporting those affected.
Watch the entire memorial service here:
Giselle St. Louis is a clinical therapist for the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Windsor. More than 100 students have come to the designated space at the university to mourn, pay their respects and grieve.
"I'm witnessing these students come together in a way I don't think I've ever seen before," she said. "There's an intimacy. There's a connectedness."