Funerals for Ethiopia crash victims but little to bury

Mourners of victims of the crashed accident of Ethiopian Airlines react beside a coffin during the mass funeral at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Mourners of victims of the crashed accident of Ethiopian Airlines react beside a coffin during the mass funeral at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

AFP

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopians were holding funerals on Sunday for friends and relatives who perished in last week's Ethiopian Airlines crash which killed all onboard and saw the worldwide grounding of the Boeing aircraft involved.

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.

READ: Identifying Ethiopia crash victims may take six months: airline

One 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. 

READ: Black boxes from Ethiopia crash to be sent overseas: Ethiopian Airlines

Caskets draped in the Ethiopian flag were brought to the cathedral in a convoy of black hearses accompanied by hundreds of mourners.

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.

Portraits of victims of the crashed accident of Ethiopian Airlines are displayed during the mass funeral at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Portraits of victims of the crashed accident of Ethiopian Airlines are displayed during the mass funeral at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

AFP
Priests hold a ceremony beside coffins of victims of the crashed accident of Ethiopian Airlines during the mass funeral at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Priests hold a ceremony beside coffins of victims of the crashed accident of Ethiopian Airlines during the mass funeral at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

AFP
Mourners carry portraits of victims of the crashed accident of Ethiopian Airlines.

Mourners carry portraits of victims of the crashed accident of Ethiopian Airlines.

AFP
Source
AFP

Paid Content