News ID: 267589
Published: 0206 GMT April 12, 2020

Canada postpones download of Flight 752 black boxes indefinitely

Canada postpones download of Flight 752 black boxes indefinitely

Canada told Iran to hold off indefinitely from going forward with the much-anticipated download and analysis of flight recorders recovered from the wreckage of Flight 752, according to a CBC News report on Sunday.

Hassan Rezaeifar, the head of the Iranian investigation team, said he invited representatives from eight countries to travel to a laboratory in Europe to start the process, but countries requested it be postponed because of the pandemic.

"At this moment, planning [a] trip is impossible for some states due to COVID-19," said Rezaeifar in an email to CBC News. 

A Canadian official confirms Iran got in touch andcountries all had a consistent response: Traveling was impossible at this time, and likely some time to come.

Kathy Fox, the chair of the Transportation Safety Board, said countries want their own representatives to attend the download in person.

"As such, the download and analysis of the recorders should be delayed until conditions improve enough to allow for safe travel," she said in a statement. "At this point, it is not possible to predict when that might happen."

Iran said it "mistakenly" shot down the Ukraine International Airlines plane on Jan. 8 after it took off in Tehran. The disaster killed all 176 people on board, including dozens of Iranian-Canadians and permanent residents of Canada. 

When the crash took place, Iran's air defense forces were put on the highest level of alert following a missile attack by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) against US forces based in Iraq.

The strike was in retaliation for the US assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the IRGC, in Baghdad.

The United States, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan, the United Kingdom, France and Germany and Canada are all accredited representatives and experts in Iran's investigation. Officials say the "black boxes" are critical and could contain communication between flight crew and air traffic controllers.

Iran doesn't have the technical expertise to do it alone and last month told the International Civil Aviation Organization it intended to have the recorders analyzed in either Ukraine or France.



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