Families of Iran crash victims put lives back together

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 8, 2020 - Duration: 02:31s

Families of Iran crash victims put lives back together

Grief-stricken relatives of passengers killed aboard an airliner shot down by Iran last month are grappling in Canada with the daily challenges of long-distance funeral arrangements, empty homes, cars left in driveways and unpaid bills.

Yahaira Jacquez reports.

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Families of Iran crash victims put lives back together

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AMIRALI ALAVI SAYING: "It's hard.

It gets hard when you're alone and you think to yourself about everything that happened." Amirali Alavi's mother was one of the passengers killed when a Ukrainian passenger jet crashed in Iran last month.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AMIRALI ALAVI SAYING: "It's definitely an emotional roller coaster.

One day, one moment, you feel sad, one moment you feel angry, one moment you feel hollow." In order to get into Iran, the 27-year-old first had to dash to Washington to get Iranian consulate paperwork.

That led to a four hour ordeal at the U.S.-Canadian border, where Alavi says he and his father were detained for questioning.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AMIRALI ALAVI SAYING: "The news was still so fresh, everybody was in shock.

But it seemed like it's just cold procedures that, you know, as soon as you say you're Iranian you are pulled aside." Alavi said his father was denied entry, so Alavi drove to Washington alone.

A Customs and Border Patrol representative declined comment on the incident but said allegations that the agency has detained dual citizenship Iranians because of their country of origin are false.

Alavi is one of many in Canada dealing with the aftermath of the crash that killed all 176 people on board, with 138 people heading to Canada as their final destination.

Iran admitted it shot down the Ukrainian airliner by mistake.

Meisam Salahi's younger brother and sister-in-law were passengers who died on the flight.

The 34 year old wants to return his brother's car to the dealership where it was leased and deal with mortgage payment's on the couple's home... But without a death certificate - which is sometimes delayed after aviation disasters as local authorities identify remains - Salahi has struggled.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) MEISAM SALAHI, SAYING: "he loved this car, he loved it...But now, he's not going back.

He's not gonna be driving this.

And if I keep it, I know I'm going to be looking at this car and it's going to make me upset and cry." Last month - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will provide each of the families with 25,000 Canadian dollars to cover the cost of funerals and travel.

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