Exmouth woman among 157 confirmed dead after Ethiopian Airlines jet crashes shortly after take-off
PUBLISHED: 09:50 11 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:50 11 March 2019
An Exmouth woman has been confirmed as one of the 157 people who died when an Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed shortly after take-off.
The doomed plane, a Boeing 737 Max-8, crashed six minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa on Sunday morning (March 10).
Seven Britons and one Irish citizen were among the dead, as were scientists, doctors, aid workers and three members of a Slovakian MP’s family.
Here is what we know so far about the victims:
- Joanna Toole, a 36-year-old from Exmouth, Devon, was heading to Nairobi to attend the UN Environment Assembly when she was killed.
Her father, Adrian, described her as a “very soft and loving” woman whose “work was not a job - it was her vocation”.
“It’s just tragic that she couldn’t carry on to further her career and achieve more,” he told the BBC.
“She was very well known in her own line of business and we’ve had many tributes already paid to her.”
He also said she used to keep homing pigeons and pet rats and travelled to the remote Faroe Islands to prevent whaling.
Manuel Barange, director of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations fisheries and aquaculture department, tweeted saying he was “profoundly sad and lost for words” over the death of the “wonderful human being”.
- Irishman Michael Ryan was among the seven dead from the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP), a Rome-based humanitarian organisation distributing billions of rations every year to those in need.
The aid worker and engineer known as Mick was formerly from Lahinch in Co Clare in Ireland’s west and was believed to be married with two children and living in Cork.
His projects have included creating safe ground for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and assessing the damage to rural roads in Nepal which were blocked by landslides.
Irish premier Leo Varadkar said: “Michael was doing life-changing work in Africa with the World Food Programme.”
- Polar tourism expert Sarah Auffret was making her way to Nairobi to discuss tackling plastic pollution in the seas at the UN assembly, according to her Norway-based employers Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO).
The University of Plymouth graduate held dual French-British citizenship, Norwegian media reported.
Raised in Brittany, the environmental agent was leading AECO’s efforts to cut back single-use plastics on Arctic expeditions and co-ordinating beach clean-ups.
- Joseph Waithaka, a 55-year-old who lived in Hull for a decade before moving back to his native Kenya, also died in the crash, his son told the Hull Daily Mail.
Ben Kuria, who lives in London, said his father had worked for the Probation Service, adding: “He helped so many people in Hull who had found themselves on the wrong side of the law.”
- Anton Hrnko, an MP for the nationalist Slovak National Party, said he was “in deep grief” to announce that his wife Blanka, daughter Michala and son Martin were among the dead.
- Hospitality company Tamarind Group announced “with immense shock and grief” that its chief executive Jonathan Seex was among the fatalities.
- German national Anne-Katrin Feigl was named as a crash victim by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
She was en route to a training course in Nairobi as part of her role as a junior professional officer at the organisation.
- Italian Paolo Dieci, a founder of an aid group that works with Unicef in Africa, was also reported as among the dead.
- Three members of humanitarian organisation Africa Tremila, based in Bergamo, Italy, were on board.
The aid group’s president Carlo Spini, his wife Gabriella Viggiani, and treasurer Matteo Ravasio were among the eight Italians killed.
- Sicilian regional culture ministry assessor Sebastiano Tusa, an underwater archaeologist, was also reportedly on the plane.
- Also among those killed from the WFP were Virginia Chimenti and Maria Pilar Buzzetti.
- Cedric Asiavugwa, a 32-year-old law student at Georgetown University in Washington was travelling to Nairobi, his home town, following a family bereavement, college officials told the Washington Post.
- The African Diaspora Youth Forum in Europe said co-chairman Karim Saafi had been a passenger on the flight and had been due to represent them at a meeting with the African Union in Nairobi.
- Professor Pius Adesamni was named as a victim by Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.
- Hussein Swaleh, the former secretary general of the Football Kenya Federation, was named as being among the dead by Sofapaka Football Club.
- Abiodun Oluremi Bashua - a retired envoy who served in Iran, Austria and Ivory Coast - was killed, Nigeria’s foreign affairs ministry said.
- Austrian media reported that three doctors who were aged between 30 and 40 and worked at hospitals in Linz had died.
- Save the Children said its child protection in emergencies adviser Tamirat Mulu Demessie was among the dead.
- Three of the Russians on board were tourists Yekaterina Polyakova, Alexander Polyakov and Sergei Vyalikov, the Russian Embassy in Ethiopia said. The first two were reportedly married.
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