Iranians turn to social media to grieve and rave over doomed plane – Reuters
DUBAI (Reuters) – The last tweet sent by a user named Sorush prior to removing from Iran on a doomed Ukrainian airliner on his way back to university in Canada suggested he understood he was flying into threat.
“I was predicting that war would break out simply at the time of my flight. Forgive me for anything bad I may have done,” he tweeted in Farsi prior to the plane left Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran on Wednesday.
Minutes later on, the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 had crashed, and all 176 people on board were dead.
Images flowing on social media, which could not be individually confirmed, recommend it boiled down in a ball of flames.
Canada, which had 63 nationals on the flight, many of them dual Canadian-Iranian people, said it had actually seen intelligence that an Iranian surface-to-air missile had actually brought the plane down, probably in mistake. U.S. authorities agreed, although Iran vehemently denied the possibility.
As Sorush buckled up in his seat, Iran had just fired missiles at American military targets in Iraq in response to the killing of a prominent Iranian basic by a U.S. armed drone on Jan. 3. Iran was on alert for a U.S. military reaction.
Numerous Iranians asked on social networks – a focus for public grief, anger and intense debate in the aftermath of the disaster – why commercial flights had actually not been suspended when Iran’s air defense were most likely to be on edge.
“Why were any civilian airlines flying out of Tehran airport in those conditions,” a user called Shiva Balaghi tweeted on her @SBalaghi account, describing herself as “somewhere between academic community & & the art world”.
Others shared pictures of the victims.
One was a selfie of a smiling mother and young daughter taken prior to liftoff, as they headed house to Toronto. The photo had actually been sent out to a relative.
Another image that went viral showed a child’s red shoe in the dirt of the crash site.
On its Twitter account, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news firm posted an old picture of a couple who were eliminated in the crash standing next to General Qassem Soleimani, the elite Quds Force commander killed in the U.S. drone strikes.
“The couple were graduates of Tehran’s Sharif University and were studying in Canada. This image was taken years back in the city of Kerman (Soleimani’s home town),” the agency said.
Some upset Twitter users published images that they said showed that the Iranian authorities had actually already cleared debris from the scene of the crash. Iran denied that it had actually bulldozed the site.
The catastrophe was the biggest single loss of Canadian life because an Air India flight exploded in 1985 over the Atlantic. Flags in Canada were flown at half mast, while Canadians also posted images of mourners lighting candles on pictures of victims.
“Iranian authorities need to take lessons from Canadians on how to respect their people,” one tweet read.
Composing by Parisa Hafezi; Modifying by Edmund Blair and Kevin Liffey
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