Ethiopian Airlines: Who are the victims?

From left to right: Captain Yared Mulugeta Gatechew Joanna Toole, Joseph Waithaka and Sarah AuffretImage copyright Hassan Katende / Facebook / Handout / PA
Image caption From left to right: Capt Yared, Joanna Toole, Joseph Waithaka and Sarah Auffret

Passengers from more than 30 countries were on board the Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi that crashed on 10 March, killing 157 people.

Among the victims were 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians and seven Britons, according to a passenger list published by Ethiopian officials. The UK Foreign Office said two of the victims travelling on non-British passports were Britons with dual-nationality.

A number of passengers are believed to have been affiliated with the UN.

Here is what is known about some of the victims.


Image copyright Hassan Katende/Facebook
Image caption Capt Yared (right) was of Ethiopian and Kenyan heritage

Senior Capt Yared Mulugeta Gatechew, of Kenyan and Ethiopian heritage, was the main pilot on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

He had been working for the airline since November 2007 with the company saying he had a “commendable performance” with more than 8,000 hours in the air.

Hassan Katende, a friend, said he learned of the crash on social media and that his “hair just stood up” when he heard that he had died. “I can’t sleep. It’s shocking. It’s very hard to believe. It’s really unbelievable,” he told BBC Amharic.

Image copyright Georgetown Law
Image caption Cedric Asiavugwa

Among the victims was Cedric Asiavugwa, a third-year law student at Georgetown University. He was reportedly travelling to Nairobi to attend the funeral of one of his relatives.

“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,” Georgetown Law Dean William Treanor said.

Mr Asiavugwa was committed to issues of social justice, especially for refugees and other marginalised groups, the university said. He also carried out research on subjects ranging from peace to food security in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan.

Hussein Swaleh, a former Kenyan football administrator, also died in the crash, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said.

The head of Kenya’s football federation tweeted that it was a “sad day for football”. Mr Swaleh was reportedly returning home after officiating in a CAF Champions League match in Alexandria, Egypt.

Former Kenyan journalist Anthony Ngare, 49, had just represented Kenya at a UN conference in Paris. He was formerly an editor at local media house Standard Group and had also worked at a government agency.

At the time of his death, he was working for the UN’s cultural agency, Unesco, as a deputy director of communications. The Kenya National Commission for Unesco described Mr Ngare as “one of its shining stars”.

Retired top military officer George Kabugi had 37 years of military experience, having joined the Kenya Army in 1979. His friend and colleague, Dr Mumo Nzau, described Mr Kabugi as highly motivated and a true Kenyan patriot.

John Quindos Karanja lost his wife Ann Wangui Quindos Karanja, his daughter Caroline and her children, seven-year-old Ryan Njoroge, five-year-old Kelly Paul and nine-month-old Ruby Paul. Ann Wangui had been living in Canada for a year, helping her daughter with the small children and the new baby.

Neighbours told the Kenya-based newspaper Daily Nation that three goats were prepared to be slaughtered in celebration of their return.


Image copyright Carleton University
Image caption Pius Adesanmi

Nigerian-born Canadian Prof Pius Adesanmi was the director of Carleton University’s Institute of African Studies. “The contributions of Pius Adesanmi to Carleton are immeasurable,” said Pauline Rankin, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

“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.”

Benoit-Antoine Bacon, president and vice-chancellor of Global Affairs Canada, said: “Pius Adesanmi was a towering figure in African and post-colonial scholarship and his sudden loss is a tragedy.”

Nigeria’s writers, scholars and journalists reacted to the news with “great shock and sadness”. Prof Adesanmi was travelling to Nairobi to take part in a conference organised by the African Union, reports say.

Canadian-Somali Amina Ibrahim Odowa and her five-year-old daughter, Sofia Abdulkadir, were also among the victims. They had been travelling to Kenya from their home in Edmonton for her wedding.

“Her fiancé has not even had water since the news broke. He has not eaten anything. He is in bad shape. Our elder sister is also in shock. We are not ok. We hope to at least see her body,” her brother told the BBC.

She leaves behind two other young daughters, who are being cared for by their grandmother, reports say.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Peter DeMarsh

Environmentalist Peter DeMarsh was on his way to a conference in Nairobi, his sister Helen said on Facebook. “Praying for him as we remember his brilliance, devotion to humanity and the wellbeing of the planet.”

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Mr DeMarsh had moved back home to New Brunswick to be close to his elderly mother, his sister said. He leaves behind a wife and a son.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Derick Lwugi

Derick Lwugi, 54, was an accountant and pastor from Calgary, CBC News reports. He was described as a “pillar” of Calgary’s Kenyan community. He leaves behind his wife, who is a domestic abuse councillor, and three children aged 17, 19 and 20.

Image copyright Facebook/Kosha Vaidya
Image caption Anushka (l), Prerit Dixit, Ashka and Kosha Vaidya

A family of six were among the Canadian victims – Kosha Vaidya, 37, and her husband Prerit Dixit, 45 were taking their 14-year-old daughter Ashka and 13-year-old daughter Anushka to Nairobi – where Kosha was born.

Relatives told Canadian media that the family of Indian origin only planned the trip 10 days before. Kosha’s parents, Pannagesh Vaidya, 73, and Hansini Vaidya, 67, decided to join them as it had been 35 years since the couple had been in Kenya.

Image copyright Danielle Moore/Facebook
Image caption Danielle Moore

Danielle Moore, 24, was travelling to a UN environment conference in Nairobi.

On 9 March, she posted a message on Facebook: “I’m so excited to share that I’ve been selected to attend and am currently en route to the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya with United Nations Association In Canada and #CanadaServiceCorps / #LeadersToday!

“Over the next week I’ll have the opportunity to discuss global environmental issues, share stories, and connect with other youth and leaders from all over the world. I feel beyond privileged to be receiving this opportunity, and want to share as much with folks back home.”

Ms Moore studied marine biology at Dalhousie University and later at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences in 2015. She was working both as a member of the clean ocean advocacy group Ocean Wise and as an education lead at the charity Canada Learning Code.


Sara Gebre Michael was the lead hostess on board the flight.

Prominent Ethiopian artist Tesfaye Mamo, who was her neighbour, told the BBC she was a caring mother, and would be sorely missed. She is survived by her husband and three children.


Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister has tweeted about a retired diplomat, Ambassador Abiodun Bashua.


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Media captionJoanna Toole’s father said it was “tragic” she would not be able to achieve more with the UN

Joanna Toole, 36, was from Exmouth, UK, but was living in Rome, her father Adrian Toole said. He paid tribute to her 15 years working in international animal welfare organisations.

“I’m very proud of what she achieved. It’s just tragic that she couldn’t carry on to further her career and achieve more,” he told the BBC. “She was very well known in her own line of business and we’ve had many tributes already paid to her.”

Joseph Waithaka, 55, was a dual British-Kenyan national.

His son, Ben Kuria, said he was still in shock after hearing that his father, who moved to the UK in 2004, was on board the flight. Mr Kuria described him as a “generous” man who “loved justice”.

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Media captionSon of Ethiopian Airlines passenger: “I’m still in shock”

A father-of-three, Mr Waithaka lived in Hull and worked for the Humberside Probation Trust before returning to live in Kenya in 2015.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Sarah Auffret

Sarah Auffret was a University of Plymouth graduate and a polar tourism expert. She was on her way to Nairobi to talk about the Clean Seas project in connection with the UN Environment Assembly, according to her Norway-based employers Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO).

“Words cannot describe the sorrow and despair we feel. We have lost a true friend and beloved colleague.”

Ms Auffret also held French citizenship, Norwegian media reported.


Image copyright IOM
Image caption Anne-Katrin Feigl

Anne-Katrin Feigl was a German national who worked for the UN migration agency, the IOM. Ms Feigl was en route to a training course in Nairobi.

Catherine Northing, chief of the IOM mission in Sudan where Ms Feigl worked, called her “an extremely valued colleague and popular staff member, committed and professional”, saying “her tragic passing has left a big hole and we will all miss her greatly”.


Image copyright Jonathan Seex/Facebook
Image caption Jonathan Seex

Hospitality company Tamarind Group announced “with immense shock and grief” that its chief executive Jonathan Seex was among those killed.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and the Tamarind community and all the others who have suffered unfathomable losses,” said the company, one of Africa’s leading restaurant and hospitality firms.


There were four Indian nationals on the Ethiopian Airlines flight.

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UNDP consultant Shikha Garg, who lived in the capital Delhi, was on her way to the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi.

Her husband Soumya Bhattacharya – who she married in December – had been due to travel with her, but had to pull out due to a last-minute meeting, the Times of India reported.

Ms Garg’s father Satish Garg – who spoke to her moments before the plane left – described his daughter as a “brilliant student”, while friends have spoken of her vibrant personality.

Nukavarapu Manisha, from Andhra Pradesh, was also on the flight. She was meant to be visiting her pregnant sister in Nairobi.

She had been working as a doctor in the US for East Tennessee State University, which paid tribute to her “as a fine resident, a delightful person and dedicated physician”.


Dr Kodjo Glato, a professor at the University of Lomé, was the only Togolese national on board. In a statement (in French), the institution offered condolences to Dr Glato’s family.

Ryan Brown, Johannesburg bureau chief for international news organisation CS Monitor, tweeted that Dr Glato had “a passion for sweet potatoes and how they could be used to improve food security in West Africa”.

Dr Glato also owned a non-governmental organisation called Farmers Without Borders, Ms Brown told the BBC.


Lawmaker Anton Hrnko announced with “deep grief” that his wife Blanka, son Martin and daughter Michala died in the crash. Details of a fourth Slovak have not yet been released.


World Food Programme employees Maria Pilar Buzzetti and Virginia Chimenti, as well as Paolo Dieci, a founder of the non-governmental organisation, were among eight Italian nationals who died in the crash.


Aleksandr Polyakov and his wife Ekaterina worked for Russia’s Sberbank bank, local media report. They were in Africa on holiday, Ria Novosti quoted Sberbank as saying.

A third Russian victim was identified as Sergei Vyalikov.


Karoline Aadland, 28, was a programme finance co-ordinator for the Norwegian Red Cross. “Our thoughts are with her next of kin. Our focus is on providing them with assistance in this difficult time,” the Norwegian Red Cross tweeted.


Image copyright World Food Programme/PA
Image caption Michael Ryan

Michael Ryan worked for the UN’s World Food Programme. His projects included creating safe ground for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and assessing the damage to rural roads in Nepal blocked by landslides.

Irish Prime Minister said: “Michael was doing life-changing work in Africa with the World Food Programme.”


New Jersey native Matt Vecere was one of the eight American victims. His employer, who described Mr Vecere as a great writer and an avid surfer with passion for helping others, confirmed the writer’s death on Twitter.

Siraje Hussein Abdi was a 32-year-old Somali-American who had lived in the US since 2002 and was visiting relatives in Africa. He had spent three months in Morocco where his wife lives and had decided to go to Nairobi to see his siblings, his sister Ardo told Voice of America Somali.

She described Mr Abdi as open, sociable and likable. “People loved him, may Allah give him mercy”, she said.

Dr Manisha Nukavarapu was a second year resident doctor at East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine. She was visiting family in Kenya and her death was confirmed by the medical school’s Dean Bill Block.

US Army Captain Antoine Lewis – seen here in two photos tweeted by a CBS Chicago journalist – was also on the ill-fated flight, American military newspaper Stars and Stripes reports. He was in Africa to do Christian missionary work.

Brothers Melvin and Bennett Riffel were also among the eight victims from the US. A family friend told NBC News that the brothers were “just wonderful, and they’re going to be missed deeply.” They were reportedly returning from a trip to Australia.

Details have not yet emerged about victims from China (eight), five other Italian nationals, the US (eight), France (seven), Egypt (six), four other German nationals, Austria (three), two other Swedish nationals, as well as two each from Spain, Israel, Morocco and Poland, and one from Belgium, Djibouti, Indonesia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, Serbia, Uganda, Yemen, and Nepal.

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