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Crash victims were from more than 30 nations

Reuters / Share:
People walk at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 10, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

NAIROBI (Reuters) – A prize-winning author, a football official and a team of humanitarian workers were among those who perished in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 30, government officials and employers said on Monday.

Sunday’s crash, minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa for a flight to Nairobi, inflicted a particularly heavy toll on the United Nations, which has large offices in both cities.

At least 21 staff members were on board, said Stephane Dujarric, a UN spokesman.

The 157 victims, including 149 passengers and eight crew members, came from more than 30 countries, the airline said. They included 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians and eight each from Italy, China and the United States.

The deadf UN staff members and aid workers included Joanna Toole, a British woman working as a fisheries consultant for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and Victor Tsang, a Hong Kong native who worked in Nairobi for the UNEP.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the world body was in grief.

The WFP said it had seven staff members on board. They included Michael Ryan, a 39-year-old engineer from Ireland.

“Michael was doing life-changing work in Africa with the World Food Programme. Deepest sympathies to family, colleagues & friends,” Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Twitter.

Also among the dead were four Catholic Relief Services employees from Ethiopia. Sara Chalachew, Getnet Alemayehu, Sintayehu Aymeku and Mulusew Alemu were headed to Nairobi for training, their employer said.

Josefin Ekermann, 30, who worked with Stockholm-based Civil Rights Defenders, was among at least four Swedish citizens on the flight, according to her NGO and government.

Karoline Aadland, a 28-year-old Norwegian Red Cross worker, was also on her way to Kenya for work, her employer said. She had recently gotten married.

Pius Adesanmi, a Nigerian-born professor with the English Language and Literature Department at Carleton University in Ottawa, was among the victims from Canada.

He was awarded the Penguin Prize for African Writing in non-fiction in 2010.

The Italian victims included Sebastiano Tusa, an archaeologist and councillor for cultural affairs in the regional government of Sicily.

Kenya suffered the heaviest losses with at least 32 citizens killed.

Anton Hrnko, a lawmaker from Slovakia, shared his “deep grief” after his wife, Blanka, and two grown children, Martin and Michala, died in the crash.

They were among four Slovaks killed. The fourth victim was identified as Danica Olexova, an aid worker.

Husband and wife Aleksandr and Ekaterina Polyakov, who both worked for Russia’s Sberbank, were among at least three Russians on board. They were on holiday when they died, local media reported.

Alalo Christine, a police officer from Uganda on assignment with the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, also died in the crash, Uganda’s police force said.

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