The Lives Lost In The Ethiopian Airlines Crash

By Travel Noire


The people killed when Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed just outside Addis Ababa on March 10 spanned the African continent’s vast public and private sectors. Some were professors, diplomats, and public servants. Most of the victims were from Kenya. There were no survivors.

The crash, now under multinational investigation, bore similarities to an Indonesian jetliner that went down last October, CNN reports. The Transportation Department is investigating the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval of Boeing’s 737 Max jets, according to the Wall Street Journal.

As Ethiopian and U.S. authorities probe through the wreckage in search of answers, families left behind are left to make sense of the tragedy that took the lives of these bright Africans too soon.

Here are some of their stories.

Pius Adésanmí, 47

Adésanmí was a Nigerian-born professor of African Studies at Carleton University in Canada. He was the recipient of the inaugural Penguin Prize for African writing in 2010. He was en-route to Nairobi for an African Union conference, the BBC reported.

“There’s no question that his passing, his sudden death is a crippling loss for the Institute [and] for Carleton,” said Carleton University president Benoit-Antoine Bacon.

Mygenet Worku, 28

Worku was traveling to attend a United Nations environment conference in Nairobi, the AFP reported.

Raised by a single mother, Worku was a U.N. employee and was known in her neighborhood for her kindliness. “She was one of the most successful ones in the family and used to travel a lot outside the country,” a cousin told the Washington Post.

Abiodun Bashua

Retired Nigerian diplomat Ambassador Abiodun Bashua also died in the crash, foreign minister Geoffrey Onyeama tweeted. He worked for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and joined the Nigerian foreign service in 1976, according to the New York Times.

“May his soul rest in perfect peace,” Onyeama said on Twitter.

Kodjo Glato

Dr. Kodjo Glato was a professor at the University of Lomé. He was a crop scientist who studied how sweet potatoes could be used to improve food security in West Africa. He also ran a non-governmental organization, Farmers Without Borders.

Capt. Yared Getachew

Getachew was the youngest person to serve as a Boeing 737 captain in Ethiopian Airlines’ history, Business Insider reported. Getachew logged more than 8,000 flying hours and was well-respected by his colleagues at the airline.

His cousin, Adnan Mohamed, released a statement on behalf of the family that said they were “incredibly proud” of his achievements as a pilot.

Written by Victoria M. Walker

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