SAN DIEGO — A San Diego student was among those killed in this week's deadly plane crash in Iran. The student's name is Sara Saadat. She attended Alliant International University in Scripps Ranch.
The Vice President of Student Affairs says Saadat's family contacted the school about the loss, "The news is really so new to us that we are still in grief and shock it as we move forward next week certainly not only supporting our students but our staff and faculty."
School officials say they will be providing critical support counselors 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.
"We are all in shock [with] our loss," a friend of Sara's told News 8. "I still can't believe it."
Sara's sister, Saba, and mother, Shekoufeh Choupannejad, also died in the plane crash.
"They were very close, they were best friends, I take some comfort from the fact that in that last moment the three of them were together," Saba's boyfriend, Daniel Ghods-Esfahani, told Global News.
The sister's friends say they had a close bond and focused on their studies and friendships.
"I still hope this is all just a dream and one day i'll just wake up and it was just a bad nightmare," said Simran Gulati."
Saturday in Iran, officials said military 'unintentionally' shot down the jetliner and blamed 'human error.'
On Friday, Iran denied allegations by the U.S. and Canada that it shot down a Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 with a missile strike and demanded the two nations show their evidence.
The comment from Ali Abedzadeh came on Friday in a news conference in Tehran over the crash.
The demand came hours after Iran state media said authorities invited Boeing to take part in the investigation into the Ukrainian International Airlines crash that killed all 176 people on board.
The University of Alberta in Canada will honor Sara, her sister Saba and other alumni/students who died in the plane crash on Sunday, Jan. 12. Sara graduated from the Canadian university last year.
Below is the full statement from Alliant International University:
"We extend our deepest sympathies to family and friends of Alliant Student Sara Saadat. Sara was a passenger on Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 that crashed in Iran. It appears that Sara was visiting family in Iran and was on her way back to San Diego to begin our spring 2020 term in our PsyD in Clinical Psychology program. 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."
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