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Nigerian prof, Ambassador die in Ethiopian Airlines crash

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Nigerian prof, Ambassador die in Ethiopian Airlines crash
 
  • We lost 157 souls from 35 nationalities’
  • UN, Presidents mourn

Two Nigerians are confirmed to be among the 157 passengers and crew that lost their lives in the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 737MAX that crashed shortly after take-off from Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, yes-terday morning. They are Professor Pius Adesanmi, (who teaches at Carlton University in Canada, he was carrying a Canadian passport) and Ambassador Abiodun Bashua of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The late Bashua was a former UN and AU Deputy Joint Special Representative in Darfur, Sudan. Adesanmi reportedly survived a motor accident along Oyo-Ogbomoso road by a whisker last July. The 149 passengers and 8 crewmembers were of 35 different nationalities, with one person travelling on a UN passport, the airline said.

The cause of the crash remained unknown as at last night. The manifest released by the airline showed that the 149 passengers are from 36 countries around the world. The breakdown showed that the crashed ET 302 flight had three Austrians, one Belgian, 18 Canadians, eight Chinese, five passengers from Netherlands, one from Djibouti, six Egyptians, two Spaniards, nine Ethiopians, seven French, seven from the United Kingdom and one Indonesian. Others are two Israelis, four Indians, one Irish, eight Italians, 32 Kenyans, two Moroccans, one Mozambican, one Norwegian, two Polish, three Russians, one Rwandan, one Saudi, one Sudanese, one Somalian, one Serbian, four Slovakian, three Swedish, one Togolese, one Ugandan and eight Americans. Completing the list are one Yemeni, one Nepalese and two unknown passengers whose nationalities were not given as at press time. Ethiopian Airlines’ Chief Executive, Tewolde GebreMariam, told journalists that none of the 149 passengers and eight crewmembers on board the Boeing 737 that crashed en route Addis Ababa to Nairobi survived.

Flight ET 302 crashed near the town of Bishoftu, about 50 kilometres southeast of the Ethiopian capital. The Boeing 737 took off at 8:38a.m., from Bole International Airport and lost contact a few minutes later, according to the airline. Shortly after take-off, the senior pilot, who had been working for the airline since 2010, sent a distress call and was given clearance to return, GebreMariam said. He disclosed that the airline had bought the plane last November, adding that it had flown only 1,200 hours since its purchase and was last maintained on February 4.

 

The plane had arrived in Addis Ababa yesterday morning from Johannesburg, South Africa, before taking off for Nairobi a few hours later, according to Ethiopian Airlines. Boeing said it is “deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 MAX 8 airplane.” A Boeing technical team was prepared to provide technical assistance at the request and under the direction of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, Boeing said in a statement. Ethiopian Airlines said it had set up a committee with Boeing, the national civil aviation authority, the national transport authority and other experts to conduct forensic investigations and identify the victims. According to information provided by Boeing and Ethiopian airlines, the plane is the same model as a Lion Air aircraft that crashed off the coast of Indonesia last October, killing 189 people. The Lion Air plane was also a newly purchased aircraft and had crashed 11 minutes after take-off. The Ethiopian Airlines Group chief executive said on Twitter that he “deeply regrets the fatal accident.” GebreMariam, who had travelled to the scene of the crash, expressed “profound sympathy and condolences” to the families of all victims.

“The Office of the PM, on behalf of the government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express its deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 737 on regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya, this morning,” the office of Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, said on Twitter. German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said he “was shocked to hear of the terrible crash.

 

“The deaths of so many people on board fill me with deep sadness.” French President, Emmanuel Macron, sent his condolences to all victims and their families. “I share their sadness,” Macron said. President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed shock over the plane crash. The President also extended his sincere condolences to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, the people of Ethiopia, Kenya, Canada, China and all other nations who lost citizens in the air disaster. In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu in Abuja, the President commiserated with the families of the victims and prayed God Almighty to grant the gentle souls of the departed eternal rest. “I am profoundly touched by this devastating report of air accident involving one of the world’s most successful and efficient Airlines. “Given its remarkable safety record, this couldn’t have come at a worse time for Ethiopian Airlines.

“Like every other African leader, I am proud of the fact that Ethiopian Airlines represents one of Africa’s success stories,” Buhari said. The President expressed the hope that the tragic accident would not have negative effect on Ethiopian Airlines’ passion for excellence. The United Nations (UN) has expressed profound shock and dismay over the crash. The global body stated this in a statement issued by the Communications Section of Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on behalf of Ms Vera Songwe, the executive secretary of ECA. “As the UN family, we are deeply saddened by all the lives lost in this tragedy. “We have lost numerous members of staff from UN agencies.

We have also learnt of losses in other international organizations as well. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, close friends and colleagues of the victims of this crash. “The United Nations family is mourning the loss of our colleagues and friends, many of whom lost their lives carrying out their professional duties today.

“We will be reaching out to families and offering our support,” Songwe said. Adesanmi was born in Isanlu, Yagba East Local Government Area of Kogi State. He had a BA (first class honours) from the University of Ilorin in 1992, a Masters in French from the University of Ibadan in 1998, and a PhD in French Studies from the University of British Columbia in 2002. From 2002 to 2005, he was Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University, USA. In 2006, he joined Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada as a Professor of Literature and African Studiesing report of air accident involving one of the world’s most successful and efficient Airlines. “Given its remarkable safety record, this couldn’t have come at a worse time for Ethiopian Airlines. “Like every other African leader, I am proud of the fact that Ethiopian Airlines represents one of Africa’s success stories,” Buhari said.

The President expressed the hope that the tragic accident would not have negative effect on Ethiopian Airlines’ passion for excellence. The United Nations (UN) has expressed profound shock and dismay over the crash. The global body stated this in a statement issued by the Communications Section of Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on behalf of Ms Vera Songwe, the executive secretary of ECA. “As the UN family, we are deeply saddened by all the lives lost in this tragedy. “We have lost numerous members of staff from UN agencies. We have also learnt of losses in other international organizations as well. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, close friends and colleagues of the victims of this crash.

 

“The United Nations family is mourning the loss of our colleagues and friends, many of whom lost their lives carrying out their professional duties today. “We will be reaching out to families and offering our support,” Songwe said. Adesanmi was born in Isanlu, Yagba East Local Government Area of Kogi State. He had a BA (first class honours) from the University of Ilorin in 1992, a Masters in French from the University of Ibadan in 1998, and a PhD in French Studies from the University of British Columbia in 2002. From 2002 to 2005, he was Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University, USA. In 2006, he joined Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada as a Professor of Literature and African Studies.

 

NewTelegraph 

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