Clothing lies on the ground at the crash scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. A spokesman says Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as a safety precaution, following the crash Sunday, of one of its planes in which 157 people are known to have died.(AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

A shredded book, a passport: What 157 victims left behind

At least 21 U.N. staffers were killed along with an unknown number of people who had worked closely with the world body

What little was left was heartbreaking: A battered passport. A shredded book. Business cards in many languages.

Searchers in white gloves and canvas shoes picked their way through the scattered remains of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 for a second day on Monday, gingerly lifting from the scorched earth the pieces of 157 lives.

The tattered book, its pages singed, appeared to be about macroeconomics, its passages highlighted by a careful reader in yellow and pink.

There was a shattered keyboard. And playfully printed T-shirts.

There was even a plaintively ringing mobile phone, picked up by a stranger and silenced.

The dead came from 35 countries. As their identities slowly emerged from shocked families, governments and employers, a common strand became clear.

The flight that set off Sunday morning from Ethiopia’s capital, faltered and plowed into the earth six minutes later was full of people unafraid to take on the world and its problems — and explore it, too.

The plane held 32 people from neighbouring Kenya, including a law student and a football official, a toll that left the country numb. Ethiopia lost 18 lives.

Others came from afar, to work or play: A satirist. A former ambassador. Tourists. An accountant.

But the number of humanitarian workers was shockingly high.

There were doctors. A child protection worker. Advocates. Environmental activists.

They carried high ideals obscured by mundane, bureaucratic names: Briefing papers. Capacity-building initiatives.

Addis Ababa and the plane’s destination, Nairobi, are popular hubs for aid workers addressing some of the world’s most pressing crises: Somalia. South Sudan. Climate change. Hunger.

“They all had one thing in common — a spirit to serve the people of the world and to make it a better place for us all,” the United Nations secretary-general said.

READ MORE: B.C. man among Ethiopian Airlines crash victims

READ MORE: Canadians mourn as victims of Ethiopian Airlines crash identified

At least 21 U.N. staffers were killed, he said, along with an unknown number of people who had worked closely with the world body.

The U.N. flag flew at half-staff on Monday, and Ethiopia marked a day of mourning for all.

Save the Children. The Norwegian Refugee Agency. The Red Cross of Norway. The International Committee for the Development of Peoples. The African Diaspora Youth Forum in Europe.

All mourned their colleagues.

A steady wind blew on Monday as more remains were found, flashes of humanity among the gritty pieces of hull and wheel.

Beyond the yellow tape around the crash site, huddled figures wrapped in blankets watched in silence.

___

Anna reported from Johannesburg.

___

Yidnek Kirubel And Cara Anna, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

“Does Kirby care?” Heiltsuk Nation using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

“No excuse” for killing of two young grizzly cubs

Reader hopeful someone will come forward with information

UPDATE: U.S. firm fined $2.9M for fuel spill that soiled B.C. First Nation territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

No delivery services hard on local families

New parents Candace Knudsen and Bjorn Samuelsen spent five weeks away from home

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

Justin Trudeau’s carbon footprint revealed in ranking of world leaders

Travel company ranks 15 world leaders’ foreign flight CO2 emissions

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Most Read