Ethiopian Airlines crash: What do we know about the victims?

A memorial service to honour the Ethiopian Airlines crew on March 11, 2019.
A memorial service to honour the Ethiopian Airlines crew on March 11, 2019. Copyright REUTERS/Maheder Haileselassie
By Euronews & NBC News
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

Passengers from more than 30 countries were onboard the doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight.


Passengers from around 35 countries were on the Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi that crashed on Sunday.

All 157 people — 149 passengers and eight crew members — were killed.

Kenya paid the heaviest price with 32 of its citizens among the victims, according to a list shared by the airline. It was followed by Canada and Ethiopia, which lost 18 and nine nationals respectively.

Here's what we know about the victims:


Yared Mulugeta Gatechew

The plane's main pilot, Senior Captain Yared Mulugeta Gatechew, was half-Kenyan, half-Ethiopian and was praised by the airline's CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, for his "commendable performance."

He started working for the company in November 2017 and had registered more than 8,000 flight hours.

In a statement released on Twitter on Monday, his family said Yared "has made us incredibly proud of his achievements."

They stated that he had an "impeccable record as a pilot" and that he had been "one of the youngest in Ethiopian Airlines (sic) history to captain a Boeing 737."

Cedric Asiavugwa

Asiavugwa, a third year law student at Georgetown University in Washington DC, was travelling home to attend a relative's funeral.

Georgetown Law Dean William Treanor said in a statement that "with his passing, the Georgetown family has lost a stellar student, a great friend to many, and a dedicated champion for social justice across East Africa and the world."

Hussein Swaleh

Swaleh was a former secretary general of Kenya's national football federation.

According to a statement from the Confederation of African Football (CAF), he was returning to Nairobi after serving as Commissioner for a CAF Champions League match between Ismaily SC (Egypt) and TP Mazembe (Democratic Republic of Congo), played on Friday in Alexandria.


Derek Lwugi

Lwugi was a "wonderful community leader" working for Calgary's local government, the city's mayor Naheed Nenshi said on Twitter.

Pius Adesanmi

Adesnami was the director of the Institute of African Studies at Carleton University

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

Pauline Rankin, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences said that "the contributions of Pius Adesanmi to Carleton are immeasurable."

"He worked tirelessly to build the Institute of African Studies, to share his boundless passion for African literature and to connect with and support students. He was a scholar and teacher of the highest calibre who leaves a deep imprint on Carleton," she added.

Adesanmi posted a picture of himself on facebook from the airport, prior to boarding the Ethiopian Airlines plane.


If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me - Psalm 139:9-10

Publiée par Pius Adesanmi sur Samedi 9 mars 2019


Sara Chalachew, Getnet Alemayehu, Sintayehu Aymeku and Mulusew Alemu

NGO Catholic Relief revealed in a statement that four staff members travelling to Nairobi to attend training on its had been killed.

"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," it added.


Sarah Auffret

Auffret worked for the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO).

In a statement, the AECO said that she was en route to Nairobi "to talk about the Clean Seas project in connection with the UN Environment Assembly this week."

"Words cannot describe the sorrow and despair we feel. We have lost a true friend and beloved colleague," it went on.



Joanna Toole

A fisheries officer for the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO), Joanna Toole "was passionate about helping to make the world a better place," UNFAO said in a statement.

"We feel the loss deeply and extend our sympathies to her family," it added.

Manuel Barange, director of FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture, described Joanna as "a wonderful human being, who loved her work with a passion."

Joseph Waithak

Ben Kuria confirmed to the BBC that his father, Joseph Waithaka, a 55-year-old Kenyan and British national, was killed in the crash.

"On the day he was flying out, he came to our flat and we chatted together," Kuria said.


"And he even told me: "When I get to Nairobi at around 11 am, I'll give you a call just to say I've arrived safely"," he went on, adding that after news of the crash reached him, "it was just a frantic rush to work the phones to get any information that we could get."

On Sunday, Kuria had shared some of his distress on Twitter.


Virginia Chimenti and Maria Pilar Buz

Chimenti and Buz were two of seven staff members of the UN's World Food Programme who died in the crash.

"The World Food Programme has suffered a profound loss. Those who died were devoted to making the world a better place and they will be missed terribly," the UN agency said on Twitter.


Anne-Katrin Feigl

The German national worked for the UN's International Organisation for Migration.


In a statement posted to Twitter, the UN agency said that she was a "young" staff member and "described by colleagues as committed and professional."


Michael Ryan

Ryan was among the seven UN World Food Programme employees who were onboard the plane.

Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar said Ryan "was doing life-changing work in Africa" and extended his "deepest sympathies to family, colleagues & friends."


Karoline Aadland

The 28-year-old was a finance coordinator for the Norwegian Red Cross.

Red Cross agencies from around the world have expressed their condolences to her family and friends.


Unconfirmed nationality

Tamirat Mulu Demessie

Demessie worked as a Child Protection in Emergencies Technical Adviser, child welfare NGO Save the Children said in a statement.

"(Tamir) worked tirelessly to ensure that vulnerable children are safe during humanitarian crisis" the charity added.

'My lucky day'

Greek citizen Antonis Mavropoulos missed the Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines Boeing that crashed on Sunday morning by two minutes, he revealed on Facebook in a post entitled "My lucky day."

"They (police officers) led me to the police station at the airport. The officer told me not to protest but to pray to God because I was the only passenger that didn't board the ET 302 flight that was lost," Mavropoulos wrote, enclosing a picture of his boarding pass.

10 ΜΑΡΤΙΟΥ 2019 - Η ΤΥΧΕΡΗ ΜΟΥ ΜΕΡΑ Τρέχοντας να προλάβω την πτήση ΕΤ 302 Αντίς Αμπέμπα - Ναϊρόμπι, που συνετρίβη 6...

Publiée par Antonis Mavropoulos sur Dimanche 10 mars 2019
Share this articleComments

You might also like

Ethiopian plane crash: Greek passenger misses flight ET302 by two minutes

Ethiopian Airlines crash is second for Boeing 737 Max 8 in five months

'No survivors' in Ethiopian Airlines crash, CEO confirms