Families travel to Addis Ababa to commemorate kin killed in plane crash

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020 00:00 | By
A group of men and women sing during a memorial ceremony at the crash site of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight in Tulu Fara, Ethiopia, on Sunday. Photo/AFP

Roy Lumbe @lumbe_roy

Three families from Nakuru were among hundreds who travelled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the site where Boeing 737 crashed to mark first anniversary.

The crash claimed over 150 lives with seven being from Nakuru and five among them belonging to one family of John Quindos Karanja.

Quindos  lost his wife Anne, 61, daughter Caroline Nduta, 34, and grandchildren Ryan Njoroge, seven, Kerry Paul, four, and nine-month-old Rubi Paul.

A private commemoration ceremony was done yesterday at the site of the crash for family members of the victims planned by Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing.

Get closure

According to  Quindos’ neighbour John Kimani, the families left for Ethiopia on Sunday after receiving an invite by the Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing, adding that they left as one group.

Kimani added that though the families went to Ethiopia, they are yet to get closure over the matter adding that Quindos has been really affected emotionally saying they have had to visit him daily.

“Though Quindos is a strong man, of late he has been affected greatly. Marking one year for him has been hard,” said Kimani.

Francis Yongi from Mzee Wanyama in Nakuru Town East constituency also lost his daughter Florence Wangari.

Lawyer Irungu Kang’ata who is representing the families that lost their loved ones, said  the matter is being followed up.

The lawyer, who is also the Senator for Murang’a, is optimistic that justice will prevail. “We are hopeful that before this year ends we shall have justice for the families,” said Kang’ata.

He was however quick to note that some of the affected families have received compensation from  Boeing with no terms and conditions.

He said  this will not interfere with the ongoing case and called on the families and Kenyans at large to be patient until the case is concluded.

The anniversary was marked a day after an interim report focused on software installed on the Boeing 737 MAX airliner.

Monday’s interim report from Ethiopia’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau bolstered the findings of Ethiopia’s initial assessment, which linked the crash to the plane’s MCAS anti-stall software.

It identified no issues with the airline or the pilots’ handling of the plane, which crashed shortly after take-off.

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