‘He was the apple of my eye’: Tributes pour in for two Twickenham victims in Iran Plane crash

By Jacob Phillips
January 10 2019, 18.33

A  reservoir engineer and a Twickenham-schooled teenager are among the 176 people killed in the Ukrainian plane crash over Iran.

A teenage boy who went to school in Twickenham has been named as the second victim with a connection to south west London killed in the plane crash.

Arad Zarei, 17, was killed in the crash alongside North Sheen resident Sam Zokaei.

Arad, the fourth Brit to be named as deceased, moved to Canada to live with his father after attending St Mary’s Primary School in Twickenham.

Angela Abrahams, St Mary’s Primary School headteacher, told South West Londoner: “Staff and governors at St Mary’s school are shocked and immensely saddened to hear of the tragic death of our past pupil Arad Zarei, in the recent plane crash.

“Arad attended St Mary’s until 2014 and is remembered fondly by his teachers. We wish to extend our prayers and condolences to Arad’s family and friends at this time”.

His father Mehrzad Zarei said in a statement to Canadian media: “He was the apple of my eye and his energetic demeanour and caring personality left a lasting impression on his classmates and many friends.

“His loss will undoubtedly leave a gaping hole in the lives of the many he touched.”

His former classmate at St Mary’s Primary School, Aiden Fenby, 16, told the Times: “He was my best friend. When I found out what happened from someone online, it was so upsetting.

“I came downstairs to tell my mum and I said, ‘Do you remember Arad Zarei?’ She said, ‘Of course, is he coming back to the UK?’ and I just started crying.”

Yesterday Sam Zokeai was identified as one of three other British victims killed in the crash.

A Family member posting online said: “Yes, I lost my second brother too,  Sam Zokaei lost his life on this morning’s plane crash as he was coming back to London.”

Mr Zokaei’s employer BP said that the reservoir engineer was on holiday.

The oil firm confirmed he had been working at BP’s site in Sunbury-on-Thames in Middlesex and had been at the company for more than 14 years.

Mr Zokaei’s LinkenIn said that he graduated from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh in 2004 with a masters in petroleum engineering.

He had previously worked in the oil industry in Angola, Egypt, Azerbaijan and on the Iran-Iraq border.

He graduated from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh in 2004 with a Master’s degree in petroleum engineering.

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