Remains of victims of Ethiopian Airlines crash flown home

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Rescuers work at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. Courtesy.

The remains of thirty-two Kenyans who perished in the tragic Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 plane crash on March 10, 2019, will be flown to Nairobi today.

The 32 victims are among 157 people who were killed in the plane crash at Bishoftu town, shortly after taking off to Nairobi. This is after the International Police through its Incident Response Team revealed on September 12, 2019, that it had successfully identified the 157 passengers who boarded the plane. The team declared the exercise a success saying “six months on after the plane crash, every single victim has been successfully identified.”

“The INTERPOL Incident Response Team (IRT) deployed following the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines plane in March has completed its task, assisting with the successful identification of all victims of the deadly disaster,” the Interpol noted on its website. It noted that the identification exercise was prompted by a request from the airlines’ company. It stated: “At the request of the Ethiopian authorities, two days after the accident INTERPOL sent an IRT to assist with the operation. The team’s role was to coordinate the international police disaster victim identification (DVI) response and coordinating the antemortem data supplied by member countries.”

Interpol further revealed that the process was aided by a team of 100 DVI experts drawn from 14 countries in Africa, Europe and America. The exercise took 50 days. Fingerprints and DNA samples were extracted from 48 people, Interpol noted. Also in September, the US-based Boeing planes manufacturer had announced that it had set aside USD2 billion as Financial Assistance Fund for assisting families of victims of the plane crash, which involves the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

The Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 nosedived just six minutes after leaving Bole International Airport to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport killing all on board. In the incident, Kenya was the worst-hit country losing 32 victims in the crash.