Many friends and relatives of the Ethiopians who perished in last week’s airplane crash held funerals on Sunday for friends and relatives who perished.
Families in 35 nations were left bereaved when the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft plummeted from the sky just minutes into its flight to Nairobi last Sunday, killing all 157 passengers and crew on board.
A week after the crash, relatives of the 17 Ethiopian victims gathered with hundreds of others at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, sobbing and holding portraits of their loved ones as an Ethiopian Orthodox priest said the last rites.
“What I can’t forget is that she left an eight-month-old child and didn’t come back,” said Meselech Petros, whose sister Amma Tesfamariam was a flight attendant on the doomed aircraft.
Her 28-year-old sister wasn’t supposed to work that day, but had gone in to cover for a colleague.
Caskets draped in the Ethiopian flag were brought to the cathedral in a convoy of black hearses accompanied by hundreds of mourners.
But it was not clear what the coffins contained.
Witnesses said the plane nose-dived into a field southeast of the capital, with the force of the impact leaving few bodies intact.
On Thursday, as grieving families and friends visited the area where the plane went down, an AFP correspondent saw them being handed plastic water bottles filled with earth from the site.
Ethiopia’s government has said it may take up to six months to identify the remains.
Although Ethiopia has warned the investigation would take “considerable time,” there were swift moves in the wake of the crash to ensure the worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX 8.
The move came after similarities were identified with the October crash of an Indonesian Lion Air jet that killed all 189 passengers and crew.
As the world awaited answers, there were few answers for those trying to cope with the loss of a loved one.