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

North Cowichan council denies rezoning bid for cannabis outlet in Chemainus

Site on Chemainus Road deemed too close to spaces frequented by youth

Father’s anguish remains three years after son’s murder in Chemainus

Derek Descoteau remembered as a young man with such a great future ahead

North Cowichan rejects Chemainus pot store application

Considered too close to school, playgrounds

The big day arrives for Weeks to join tourism management

New Chemainus Visitor Centre Manager brings impressive credentials to the job

Numbers on logging operations need context

North Cowichan Mayor responds to letter asking what’s happening with forest review

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Most Read