Ethiopian Airlines – Relatives of 157 people who died when a Boeing 737 crashed just minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa Sunday have been converging in the horn of Africa to collect the remains of their loved ones.
The victims were from at least 35 countries and included 22 United Nations staff members heading to a U.N. environmental conference in Nairobi.
Flags at the conference were lowered to half-staff Monday. The Nairobi conference and a General Assembly meeting in New York both opened with moments of silence.
The United Nations flag flew at half-staff in memory of the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash, in Geneva, Switzerland, March 11, 2019.
“A global tragedy has hit close to home, and the United Nations is united in grief. I extend my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all the victims, to the government and people of Ethiopia, and all these affected by this disaster,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in New York.
Most of the remains from Sunday’s crash had been gathered in a hangar,
Kenya was hardest hit by the tragedy, with 32 citizens among the 157 people on the ill-fated flight, followed by Canada with 18.
“Concerning families and relatives who’d like to travel, we’re ready to… take them to Addis, give them accommodation, then constant updates will be given,” the airline’s Kenyan operations manager Yilma Goshu Gobena said.
Kenyan mourners started arriving on Tuesday night.
The airline, Africa’s biggest, said Monday it had found the plane’s two black boxes with cockpit voice and data recordings, which it is hoped will shed light on the cause of the tragedy.
This was the second crash of Boeing’s top-selling 737 MAX 8 passenger jet in less than six months — all 189 people on board an Indonesian Lion Air flight died last October.
Growing numbers of countries have banned the model from their airspace or grounded fleets since Sunday’s crash.
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