Hundreds of people have paid tribute Sunday to the victims of ethiopia’s crash of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 during a ceremony in the main cathedral of Addis Ababa, a week after this disaster which has killed 157 people from 35 nationalities.
Seventeen coffins covered with the ethiopian flag, one for each of the victims the ethiopian – eight crew members and nine passengers were taken away in black sedans through the streets of Addis Ababa, up to the cathedral of the Holy Trinity.
The contents of the coffins, however, has not been revealed: the aircraft was sprayed to the impact, making difficult the task of identification of the remains of the victims. DNA testing could take up to six months.
On Thursday, an AFP journalist present on the crash site has seen relatives of the victims receive plastic bottles filled with soil from the field where the plane crashed.
“What saddens us is that we have not found his remains,” said Sunday Teshome Legesse, uncle of the hostess of the air Ayantu Girma, who died at the age of 24 years.
Portraits of the victims had been placed on the coffins for this ceremony, the orthodox christian, the main denomination in the country.
“What I cannot forget, is that it has left behind a child of eight months and has not returned,” said Meselech Petros, about her sister, Amma Tesfamariam, a stewardess aboard the plane.
According to Ms. Meselech, his sister was not supposed to work on the 10th October on board the flight AND 302, but it was eventually replaced by a colleague.
– Nailed to the ground –
Many people who have not lost relatives had also made the trip. “We are all children of Adam and Eve,” assured Seyoum Kidanu, a policeman, a pensioner who has donned his uniform for the occasion. “When a person dies in this world, everyone is pained”.
The crash Sunday was the second in less than five months for the Boeing 737 MAX 8, now nailed to the ground in numerous countries, including the United States.
In similar circumstances, an aircraft of the same type of the company’s indonesian Lion Air was damaged at sea in October off the coast of Indonesia (189 dead). The preliminary investigation report on the causes of this crash had been published approximately one month after the accident.
On Saturday, the minister of ethiopian Transport, Dagmawit Moges, had stressed that “the investigation (…) asked for a careful analysis and a considerable amount of time to reach concrete conclusions”.
The black boxes of the device, which are crucial to understanding the causes of a crash, have been sent to France to be decrypted by the Bureau of investigations and analyses (BEA) French.
A document sent Saturday to the families of the victims by the Ethiopian Airlines and of which AFP has seen a copy of, indicates that the personal effects collected on the crash site will be handed over to close in “approximately two months” and the death certificates in two weeks.
Addis Ababa, Selamsew Mathias, described his sister, Amma Tesfamariam, as “a very good person”. “We are disappointed and we are very sorry. It is very difficult”.