ETHIOPIA AIR CRASH: Profiles of some of the victims

Red Cross personnel check the scene where 157 people, including 8 Americans, killed in Ethiopian Airlines crash. (COURTESY PHOTO)

ADDIS ABABA – Like any major international flight, the plane was packed with passengers from across the world. This one had professors from Kenya, aid workers from Ethiopia, a career ambassador from Nigeria and a fisheries consultant from Britain.

Some were heading to job training, others to an environmental conference. Some were simply going home.

All were passengers on Ethiopian Airways Flight 302, which crashed on Sunday shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 aboard and raising questions about the safety of the aircraft model, the Boeing 737 Max 8.

On Monday, as the identities of more victims were revealed, heartache rippled through convention halls, classrooms and living rooms across the globe. Tributes flowed on social media. Colleagues observed moments of silence.

The campus of Kenyatta University in Kenya mourned the death of Isaac Mwangi, a lecturer in the department of education, communication and technology, and Agnes Gathumbi, a director of teacher professional development.

Dr. Mwangi wrote dissertations on using technology in secondary education and worked on projects related to integrating images and graphics into the teaching of poetry.

He was “diligent and proactive,” Olive Mugenda, a fellow professor who worked with Dr. Mwangi for more than a decade, wrote on Twitter.

Dr. Gathumbi published dozens of papers, including one on how administrators react differently to graffiti scrawled by girls instead of boys. She had received certifications in French, African storybook writing, computer studies and other areas from across the world, including institutions in Britain and Slovakia.

Dr. Gathumbi was “humble, supportive and hardworking,” Ms. Mugenda tweeted.

A relative reacts as he leaves the information center following the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, Kenya March 10. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Aid workers were also killed in the crash. Four were employees of Catholic Relief Services, all of them Ethiopian citizens who were traveling to Nairobi for training.

Sintayehu Aymeku was a procurement manager who left behind a wife and three daughters. Sara Chalachew was a senior project officer for grants. Mulusew Alemu was a senior officer in the finance department. Getnet Alemayehu was a senior project officer for procurement and compliance. He had a wife and one daughter.

“Although we are in mourning, we celebrate the lives of these colleagues and the selfless contributions they made to our mission, despite the risks and sacrifices that humanitarian work can often entail,” the organization said in a statement.

In Nigeria, the government confirmed the death of Abiodun Bashua, a former ambassador who had been working with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

He joined the Nigerian foreign service in 1976 and worked in several countries, including Austria, Ivory Coast, and Iran, according to a statement from the Nigerian Foreign Ministry. He also worked with the United Nations on peacekeeping operations and climate change issues.

Two Spaniards were on the flight. Jordi Dalmau Sayol, 46, was a Catalan chemical engineer who was on a business trip. He was working for a water infrastructure company that was awarded a water desalination project in Kenya, according to the Spanish daily La Vanguardia. Mr. Dalmau’s death was confirmed by his company, as well as by Elsa Artadi, the spokeswoman for the regional government of Catalonia, in northeastern Spain.

Pilar Martínez Docampo, 32, worked for an aid organization and was traveling to Kenya to give language classes to children there, according to La Opinión, a local newspaper in her home region of Galicia, in northwestern Spain. The authorities in her hometown, Cangas do Morrazo, confirmed her death and decreed three days of mourning.

A day after the crash, a somber mood engulfed the United Nations headquarters in Nairobi, as politicians, environmentalists and government officials gathered for a major United Nations meeting on the environment — a destination for many people aboard the flight.

At least 22 people who worked for United Nations-affiliated agencies were aboard the flight.

The crash — of a flight that had been nicknamed the “U.N. shuttle” because of how often United Nations staff members take it — has also highlighted the organization’s work in some of the world’s most troubled regions, from South Sudan to North Korea.

The United Nations said its staff members on the flight had worked with several agency programs and affiliated organizations, as well as United Nations offices in Kenya and Somalia.

The United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, offered “heartfelt condolences” to the families and loved ones of the United Nations staff members who died in the crash. He also said in an email to staff that flags at United Nations offices would fly at half-mast on Monday to honor the victims.

It is now confirmed that 32 Kenyans perished in the crash of ET flight 302, reported earlier today. On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we condole with the families and friends of those departed during this most difficult time.

The World Food Program said seven of its staff members had died in the crash, the most of any United Nations organization. The program’s work focuses on widespread hunger caused by war or instability in Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen, among other countries.

“As we mourn, let us reflect that each of these W.F.P. colleagues were willing to travel and work far from their homes and loved ones to help make the world a better place to live,” David Beasley, the head of the program, said in a statement. “That was their calling, as it is for the rest of the W.F.P. family.”

The World Food Program victims included Ekta Adhikari of Nepal, who had worked for the program in Ethiopia; Michael Ryan of Ireland, who had helped Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh prepare for seasonal monsoons; and Zhen-Zhen Huang of China, who had worked in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

“I cannot imagine the loss felt by your loved ones, especially your son,” one of Ms. Huang’s colleagues, Faizza Tanggol, wrote on Twitter.

Other victims of the crash had been traveling to United Nations events. One was Sebastiano Tusa, an underwater archaeologist from Italy who had been traveling to Kenya for a Unesco conference about safeguarding underwater cultural heritage in Eastern Africa.

Others were traveling to the United Nations Environment Assembly, a meeting in Kenya this week focusing on issues like sustainable development and environmental challenges related to poverty, natural resources and waste management.

A Kenyan woman is comforted by a Red Cross worker after getting information about her loved ones that were on board the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, Kenya, March 10 (AGENCIES PHOTO)

Among them was Victor Tsang, a gender expert from Hong Kong who worked for the United Nations Environment Program in Nairobi. According to his biography on the Environment Program website, Mr. Tsang had worked in Chad, Ethiopia, Panama and South Sudan.

A Twitter account that appears to be Mr. Tsang’s says that while his profession was working on sustainable development, his passion was camping with his 2-year-old son in the family’s garden. His penultimate Twitter post appears to show him dancing with colleagues on Valentine’s Day to celebrate sustainable development.

Joanna Toole, a United Nations fisheries consultant from southwestern England, had planned to attend the conference.

Two days before she boarded the flight she tweeted that she was happy to be among an increasing number of women working for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

“Great to be part of the growing number of women” working on fisheries issues, she wrote, adding a hashtag referring to International Women’s Day.

Ms. Toole had been traveling to the Environment Assembly to represent the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Manuel Barange, the department’s director, wrote on Twitter.

Ms. Toole, 36, was from Exmouth, in the southwestern English region of Devon. The Exmouth Journal reported that she had attended a local community college before studying animal behavior at the university level.

“Everybody was very proud of her and the work she did. We’re still in a state of shock,” her father, Adrian Toole, told the local news site Devon Live. “Joanna was genuinely one of those people who you never heard a bad word about.”

Ms. Toole, who had kept homing pigeons and pet rats as a child, often posted on social media about initiatives to protect animals from marine pollution and make the fishing industry more environmentally friendly.



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