'Immense shock and grief': Tributes flow for victims of Ethiopian Airlines flight

 sbs.com.au  03/10/2019 20:59:12 

A Slovakian MP is among many across the world grieving for lost family members, announcing on social media that his wife and two children were on the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 passenger which crashed on Sunday, killing 157 people. 

"I announce with deep sadness that my beloved wife Blanka, my son Martin and my daughter Michala died in the air disaster in Addis Ababa today, in the morning hours," Anton Hrnko, who is deputy leader of the Slovak National Party, wrote in Slovakian.

Slovakian MP Anton Hrnko lost his wife and children in the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people.
Slovakian MP Anton Hrnko lost his wife and children in the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people.

"Who [ever] knew them, pay them quiet tribute."

The flight, heading to Nairobi from Addis Ababa, crashed just six minutes after take-off.

Passengers from at least 35 countries were on board the plane when it went down, according to Ethiopian Airlines, with 32 of the casualties Kenyan.

The remaining victims were Canadian (18), Ethiopian (9), China (8), Italian (8), American (8), French (7), United Kingdom nationals (7), Egyptian (6), German (5), Indian (4), Slovakian (4), Austrian (3), Russian (3), Swedish (4), Spanish (2), Israeli (2), Moroccan (2), Polish (2), Belgian (1), Djiboutian (1), Indonesian (1), Irish (1), Mozambican (1), Norwegian (1), Rwandan (1), Saudi Arabian (1), Sudanese (1), Somalian (1), Serbian (1), Tongan (1), Ugandan (1), Yemeni (1), Nepalese (1) and Nigerian. 

At least one passenger was travelling on a UN passport.

Abiodun Oluremi Bashua welcomes Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmud to Darfur in 2015.
Abiodun Oluremi Bashua welcomes Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmud to Darfur in 2015.

Nigeria's foreign ministry announced that former ambassador Abiodun Oluremi Bashua, 68, was also among the dead. According to their statement, Professor Bashua was a retired envoy who had served in Iran, Austria and the Ivory Coast. 

Meanwhile, a tribute from hospitality company Tamarind Group confirmed the death of their CEO, Swedish father Jonathon Seex, in the crash. 

Swedish father and CEO Jonathon Seex.
Swedish father and CEO Jonathon Seex.

"It is with immense shock and grief to inform you of the tragic news that Tamarind CEO Jonathon Seex was on the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines flight," the company announced on Facebook.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, the Tamarind community and all others who have suffered unfathomable losses."

Local media has identified the sole Irish victim as Michael Ryan, an engineer working with the UN World Food Programme. 

The WFP family mourns today -- @WFP staff were among those aboard the Ethiopian Airlines flight. We will do all that is humanly possible to help the families at this painful time. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

— David Beasley (@WFPChief) March 10, 2019

Fellow UN employee, 36-year-old British-citizen Joanna Toole, has also been identified as being among the victims.

The Director of the UN's Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Manuel Barange, paid tribute to a "wonderful human being", explaining that Ms Toole was on her way to represent the department at a meeting in Nairobi.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was "deeply saddened" by the news of the crash. 

"My heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all the victims — including our own UN staff — who perished in this tragedy," he wrote on Twitter.

One of the nine Ethiopian victims, humanitarian aid worker and father Tamirat Mulu Demessie was described as a tireless advocate for endangered children, according to a statement from not-for-profit Save The Children. 

"Tamirat served as a Child Protection in Emergencies Technical Advisor, and worked tirelessly to ensure vulnerable children are safe during humanitarian crises," the statement read. 

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