Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has expressed sorrow over Wednesday’s Ukrainian International Airlines plane crash in Iran that killed 176 people.
The aircraft crashed soon after takeoff from Tehran’s airport.
“Our hearts are heavy and filled with sorrow following news of the plane crash in Iran that killed all 176 passengers and crew this morning,” Prime Minister Chastanet wrote on his official Facebook page on Wednesday.
“Deepest condolences to all the families and countries affected by this accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the Canadians, Britons, Germans, Ukrainians, Swedes, Iranians and Afghans. May they rest in peace,” the PM said.
International media reports say US officials are confident Iran shot down the Ukrainian jetliner in the hours after the Iranian missile attack on U.S. targets earlier this week.
CBS News reported being told that U.S. satellites detected two surface-to-air missile launches, which happened shortly before the plane exploded.
The plane was believed to have been mistakenly targeted, according to the US television network.
But an initial report released by Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation on Thursday and quoted by the BBC, said the Boeing 737-800 suffered a technical problem shortly after take-off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport.
The report cited witnesses, including the crew of another passenger plane, that it was on fire prior to impact.