Government officials, doctors among Ethiopian plane crash victims

2019-03-11 15:17

Three Austrian physicians. The co-founder of an international aid organisation. A career ambassador. The wife and children of a Slovak legislator. A Nigerian-born Canadian college professor, author and satirist.

They were all among the 157 people from 35 countries who died on Sunday morning when an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 jetliner crashed shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi, Kenya. Here are some of their stories.

READ: Ethiopia mourns crash victims as investigators seek answers

Kenya: 32 victims

Cedric Asiavugwa, a law student at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, was on his way to Nairobi after the death of his fiancée's mother, the university said in a statement.

READ: Greek NPO boss on his way to UN assembly saved from Ethiopia crash by being late

Asiavugwa, who was in his third year at the law school, was born and raised in Mombasa, Kenya. Before he came to Georgetown, he worked with groups helping refugees in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, the university said.

At Georgetown, Asiavugwa studied international business and economic law.

The university said Asiavugwa's family and friends "remembered him as a kind, compassionate and gentle soul, known for his beautifully warm and infectious smile".

Canada: 18 victims

- Pius Adesanmi, a Nigerian professor with Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, was on his way to a meeting of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council in Nairobi, John O Oba, Nigeria's representative to the panel, told The Associated Press.

The author of Naija No Dey Carry Last, a collection of satirical essays, Adesanmi had degrees from Ilorin and Ibadan universities in Nigeria, and the University of British Columbia. He was director of Carleton's Institute of African Studies, according to the university's website. He was also a former assistant professor of comparative literature at Pennsylvania State University.

"Pius was a towering figure in African and post-colonial scholarship and his sudden loss is a tragedy," said Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Carleton's president and vice chancellor.

- Mohamed Hassan Ali confirmed that he had lost his sister and niece.

Ali said his sister, Amina Ibrahim Odowaa, and her 5-year-old daughter, Safiya, were on board the jet that went down six minutes after it took off from the Addis Ababa airport on the way to Nairobi, Kenya.

"(She was) a very nice person, very outgoing, very friendly. Had a lot of friends," he said of his sister, who lived in Edmonton and was travelling to Kenya to visit with relatives.

Ethiopia: 9 victims

The aid group Save the Children said an Ethiopian colleague died in the crash.

Tamirat Mulu Demessie had been a child protection in emergencies technical adviser and "worked tirelessly to ensure that vulnerable children are safe during humanitarian crises", the group said in a statement.

Italy: 8 victims

- Paolo Dieci, one of the founders of the International Committee for the Development of Peoples, was among the dead, the group said on its website.

"The world of international cooperation has lost one of its most brilliant advocates and Italian civil society has lost a precious point of reference," wrote the group, which partners with UNICEF in northern Africa.

Unicef Italia sent a tweet of condolences over Dieci's death, noting that CISP, the group's Italian acronym, was a partner in Kenya, Libya and Algeria.

- Sebastiano Tusa, the Sicilian regional assessor to the Italian Culture Ministry, was en route to Nairobi when the plane crashed, according to Sicilian regional President Nello Musemeci. In a statement reported by the ANSA news agency, Musemeci said he received confirmation from the foreign ministry, which confirmed the news to The Associated Press.

In a tweet, Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte said it was a day of pain for everyone. He said: "We are united with the relatives of the victims and offer them our heartfelt thoughts."

Tusa was also a noted underwater archaeologist.

- The World Food Program confirmed that two of the Italian victims worked for the Rome-based UN agency.

A WFP spokesperson identified the victims as Virginia Chimenti and Maria Pilar Buzzetti.

- Three other Italians worked for the Bergamo-based humanitarian agency, Africa Tremila: Carlo Spini, his wife, Gabriella Viggiani and the treasurer, Matteo Ravasio.

France: 7 victims

- A group representing members of the African diaspora in Europe is mourning the loss of its co-chairperson and "foremost brother", Karim Saafi.

A French Tunisian, Saafi, 38, was on an official mission representing the African Diaspora Youth Forum in Europe, the group announced on its Facebook page.

"Karim's smile, his charming and generous personality, eternal positivity, and his noble contribution to Youth employment, diaspora engagement and Africa's socio-economic development will never be forgotten," the post read. "Brother Karim, we'll keep you in our prayers."

Saafi left behind a fiancée.

Slovakia: 4 victims

- A lawmaker of Slovak Parliament said his wife, daughter and son were killed in the crash. Anton Hrnko, a legislator for the ultra-nationalist Slovak National Party, said he was "in deep grief" over the deaths of his wife, Blanka, son, Martin, and daughter, Michala. Their ages were not immediately available.

Martin Hrnko was working for the Bubo travel agency. The agency said he was travelling for his vacation in Kenya.

President Andrej Kiska offered his condolences to Hrnko.

Austria: 3 victims

- Austrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Peter Guschelbauer confirmed that three Austrian doctors in their early 30s were on board the flight. The men were on their way to Zanzibar, he said, but he could not confirm the purpose of their trip.

Russia: 3 victims

- The Russian Embassy in Ethiopia said that airline authorities had identified its deceased nationals as Yekaterina Polyakova, Alexander Polyakov and Sergei Vyalikov.

News reports identify the first two as husband and wife. State news agency RIA-Novosibirsk cites a consular official in Nairobi as saying all three were tourists.

"Michael was doing life-changing work in Africa with the World Food Program," the prime minister tweeted. "Deepest sympathies to family, colleagues & friends."

Varadkar did not provide any further details about Ryan.

Nigeria: 1 victim

- The Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it received the news of retired Ambassador Abiodun Oluremi Bashu's death "with great shock and prayed that the Almighty God grant his family and the nation, the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss."

Bashu was born in Ibadan in 1951 and joined the Nigerian Foreign Service in 1976. He had served in different capacities both at Headquarters and Foreign Missions such as Vienna, Austria, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire and Tehran, Iran. He also served as secretary to the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

At the time of his death, Bashu was on contract with the United Nations Economic Commission of Africa.

Norway: 1 victim

- The Red Cross of Norway confirmed that Karoline Aadland, a finance officer, was among those on the flight.

Aadland, 28, was originally from Bergen, Norway. The Red Cross said she was traveling to Nairobi for a meeting.

Aadland's LinkedIn page says she had done humanitarian and environmental work. The page says her work and studies had taken her to France, Kenya, South Africa and Malawi.

"People who know me describe me as a resourceful, dedicated and kindhearted person," she wrote on Linkedin.

The Red Cross says in a news release that it "offers support to the closest family, and to employees who want it," the organization said in a news release.

Serbia's foreign ministry confirmed that one of its nationals was aboard the plane. The ministry gave no further details, but local media identified the man as 54-year-old Djordje Vdovic.

The Vecernje Novosti daily reported that he worked at the World Food Program.

United States: 8 victims

China: 8 victims

UK: 7 victims

Egypt: 6 victims

Germany: 5 victims

India: 4 victims

Sweden: 3 victims

Israel: 2 victims

Morocco: 2 victims

Poland: 2 victims

Spain: 2 victims

Belgium: 1 victim

Djibouti: 1 victim

Indonesia: 1 victim

Ireland: 1 victim

Mozambique: 1 victim

Nepal: 1 victim

Rwanda: 1 victim

Saudi Arabia: 1 victim

Somalia: 1 victim

Sudan: 1 victim

Togo: 1 victim

Uganda: 1 victim

Yemen: 1 victim

UN passport: 1 victim

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Read more on:    un  |  ethiopia  |  east africa  |  air travel  |  plane crashes
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