Western to honour students killed in plane crash

Ghazal Nourian. Milad Nahavandi, Sajedeh Saraeian and Hadis Hayatdavoudi. Photos courtesy of Western University.

A week after four Western University students were killed in a Ukrainian Airlines crash in Iran, the London community will gather in their honour.

Western President Alan Shepard has announced the post-secondary institution will hold a memorial service at Alumni Hall at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

PhD students Hadis Hayatdavoudi, Milad Nahavandi, and Ghazal Nourian and incoming Masters student Sajedeh Saraeian were killed last week when the Ukraine Airlines plane crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport. The flight was bound for Kyiv. All 176 people on board were killed, including 57 Canadians.

Iranian officials admitted three days after the crash that its Revolutionary Guard fired a missile that brought down the plane. They have stated the missile was accidentally fired.

Iranian students and researchers from the University of Windsor, the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo have also been identified among the dead.

Due to the larger number of victims with Canadian post-secondary connections, universities across the country will pause for a moment of silence at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Roughly 250 people attended an informal vigil held at Western in honour of the dead last week.

“I have been touched by the caring nature of our community during this difficult time and I hope you will join me in honouring all those who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy,” Shepard said in a statement announcing the upcoming memorial service.

Doors to Alumi Hall will open at 3 p.m. The service is expected to last approximately two hours. Those who cannot attend in person can live stream the ceremony on the university’s website Westernu.ca.