WINNIPEG -- A Winnipegger who knows one of the victims aboard Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 is reacting to new information the plane may have mistakenly been shot down by an Iranian missile.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters Thursday afternoon the Canadian government has intelligence from multiple sources, including its allies and its own intelligence.

“The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile,” said Trudeau. “This may have been unintentional.”

The news left Jude Uzonna shaken. The University of Manitoba professor advised Forough Khadem when she was completing her PhD in immunology -- Khadem was among the 176 people on board the plane.

“How could that happen,” said Uzonna. “That’s terrible. That’s terrible. And it makes me so upset if this is really true.”

Uzonna said he had exchanged text messages with Khadem just before her flight and she expressed concern about the tensions between Iran and the U.S.

Jude Uzonna

(Source: Jude Uzonna)

Uzonna is remembering Khadem for her affable personality and knowledge in the field of immunology.

“This is somebody with an infectious smile and infectious optimism,” he said. “There is nobody that Forough crosses his or her path that would never want to know who is this lady.”

“Humanity has lost one of its greatest, one of its finest,”

Counsellors are meeting with students, faculty and staff to help everyone cope with the loss.