Winnipeg family grieving loss of mother and son killed during flight from Iran

WINNIPEG — Family members of a mother and son from Winnipeg killed during Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 are remembering an incredible woman and intelligent boy.

Negysa Kalar, the niece of Farzaneh Naderi and cousin of Noojan Sadr, 11, said her relatives were among the 176 people on board the plane. On Thursday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the plane may have been unintentionally shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile and crashed near Tehran. Iran has denied the plane was shot down.

“We’re all still in shock and disbelief,” said Kalar. “We can’t believe that they’re not coming back. It’s just hard to wrap your heard around the fact that they were supposed to come home that day.

“What they were going through when that plane was going down, that’s the part that’s gut-wrenching to me. I can’t imagine what they were going through.”

She said Naderi and Sadr were visiting family in Tehran over the holidays.

Kalar said her uncle Abolfazl Sadr, who is Naderi’s husband and Sadr’s father, is now making his way to Tehran in the aftermath of the crash.

She said she can’t imagine what he’s going through.

Kalar said she’s trying to avoid thinking too much about the details of what caused the crash.

“Me and my family are just trying to focus on how we can just help each other and how we can help my uncle moving forward,” said Kalar. “We’re trying not to pay too much attention to those details, just cause we’re trying to mourn the loss of our family and trying to grieve with each other and be there for each other.”

Kalar said Naderi was an incredibly strong and fierce woman who loved her family and enjoyed taking part in large family gatherings.

“She was the life of the party, she loved dancing,” said Kalar. “She was so great to talk to. She was really real with you.

“It’s just so hard to think that the next time we party, they’re not going to be there.”

Kalar said Naderi worked at St. Amant with Manitobans who live with autism and was also a manager at Walmart.

Sadr was a student in the Pembina Trails School Division, who Kalar said loved soccer and was one of the smartest and brightest kids she knows.

“His life hadn’t even begun yet,” she said. “He had all these aspirations to work in technology, work with computers, IT – he was so smart. He could fix anything on my computer, on my phone, anything – in like two seconds he’d know what’s going on.”

She said the outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelmingly positive.

“So many people have been impacted by this tragedy and the outpouring of family, friends, coworkers – all the companies my aunt and uncle work with, they’re so supportive and they want to be there.”

A U OF M STUDENT PLANNING TO STUDY MEDICINE

Amirhossein Ghorbani Bahabadi, a student with the University of Manitoba’s International College of Manitoba, was also aboard the plane. His friends told CTV News Winnipeg he recently travelled from Winnipeg to Iran.

His roommate, Arman Ahmadi, had been urging him to not take the trip because he was concerned that Iran wasn’t safe.

“Because he reserved that flight he had to do it, and he already paid for it. So it was kind of hard on us as well, but who would’ve thought, right?” he said.

Ghorbani Bahabadi was studying science and was planning to become a doctor. Ahmadi said he’s sad his friend will no longer be able to pursue his passion.

Other victims with ties to Winnipeg include: Amirhossein Ghasemi, a graduate student in biomedical engineering at U of M; family of three Mehdi Sadeghi, his wife Bahareh Hajesfandiari and their daughter Anisa Sadeghi; and scientist Forough Khadem.

Two other U of M graduates, Pedram Mousavi and Mojgan Daneshmand, who were most recently living in Alberta, were also confirmed as being among the victims. They were on the flight with their daughters Darya and Darina Mousavi.

All 176 people on board the flight died, including 63 Canadians and non-citizens who live here.

– With files from CTV’s Kayla Rosen.