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Dozens of countries mourn those killed in Ethiopian Airlines plane crash

Sunday March 10 2019

Ethiopian Airlines

Family and friends in Nairobi mourn their loved ones who were involved in a plane crash in Ethiopia. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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World leaders and citizens from more than 30 countries mourned the loss of those aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed on Sunday flying out of Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

The crash, which occurred shortly after the plane departed for Nairobi, Kenya, killed at least 150 people. The dead included at least 32 Kenyans; 18 Canadians; nine Ethiopians; eight each from the United States, China and Italy; and seven each from France and Britain, the airline said.


At the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, distraught family members and friends made their way to an emergency centre set up by the authorities at a nearby hotel.

Condolences poured in from around the world as details about those aboard gradually came to light.

The executive director of the World Food Program, a United Nations organization, said in a tweet that staff members from the group were among the dead. Aid workers from at least one other United Nations agency, Catholic Relief Services and other organizations were also aboard the plane.


A chief executive who oversaw the Tamarind Group, a company that operates restaurants and hospitality establishments in Kenya, was also among those killed, according to a Facebook post by the Tamarind Tree Hotel. The hotel announced the death of the chief executive, Jonathan Seex, with “immense shock and grief.”

Chinese news websites said that the eight Chinese killed included tourists and businesspeople.


One was Zhou Yuan, a worker for the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, which sells electronics, communications and security technology for civilian and military needs, The Beijing News reported, citing an official for the corporation.

A Nairobi-based staff member with the United Nations Environment Program and an employee of Aviation Industry Corporation of China were also among the dead, according to a list of victims provided by the Chinese embassy in Kenya, The Global Times reported.

The Russian Embassy confirmed the death of three Russian citizens: Yekaterina Polyakova, Aleksandr Polyakov and Sergei Vyalikov.

Anton Hrnko, a member of the Slovakian parliament, said on Facebook that his wife, Blanka; his son Martin; and his daughter Michala died in the crash.

United Nations officials were trying to confirm whether some of the passengers were heading to Nairobi for the United Nations Environment Assembly, described as the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment. The event, scheduled to start on Monday, convenes representatives from United Nations member states to solve environmental problems.