SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A 23-year-old Alliant International University student was among those killed in this week’s deadly crash of a Ukrainian airliner in Iran, the administration of the San Diego college confirmed today.
Sara Saadat, a first-year doctoral student in clinical psychology at the Scripps Ranch campus, died along with her mother and 21-year-old sister when the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 went down in flames shortly after takeoff from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport on Wednesday, killing all 176 people aboard.
Saadat and her family members, residents of Edmonton, Alberta, were among 63 Canadian passengers on the Kyiv-bound aircraft, according to news reports. Most of the victims were Iranian or Iranian-Canadian, officials reported.
Saadat had been visiting family in Iran along with her mother and sister and was on her way back to San Diego to begin the spring 2020 term at AIU, school officials said.
U.S. and Canadian authorities believe the jetliner was shot down by an Iranian missile — probably by mistake — amid heightened hostilities between the United States and the Middle Eastern nation.
In response to Saadat’s death, the administration of the private Pomerado Road college offered “deepest sympathies” to her loved ones and offered emotional support to her fellow students.
“We know that the entire Alliant community is affected when tragedy strikes any one of us, and we are here to provide support during these trying times,” a public message from the university stated. “We will have on-site critical support counselors available for students in San Diego when spring classes resume next week and will be reaching out soon regarding additional support for the broader Alliant community.”