Ethiopia today held a symbolic and massive funeral, after one of the devices of its flagship airline, Ethiopian Airlines, crashed a week ago, killing 157 people.
The funeral service was held in the cemetery of Saint Trinity Church in the capital, in the presence of thousands of people, including relatives and friends of the victims, as well as staff of Ethiopian Airlines, according to local media.
As no body has been recovered after the accident, the authorities collected land from the area of the accident and each relative buried a kilo so that each victim will now have a slab marked with his name in this space.
A total of 17 empty coffins wrapped with the national flag were taken in a funeral march through the capital, where there were scenes of tension with the passing out of some of the relatives of the victims.
Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges said yesterday that identifying the victims through a DNA analysis could take up to six months, according to state television ETV.
Meanwhile, the families of the victims have been given temporary death certificates.
A total of 157 people died a week ago in the crash of a plane of the Ethiopian Airlines company, which crashed shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa bound for Nairobi, as confirmed by the Ethiopian airline.
Among the fatalities, of some 35 nationalities, 2 Spanish citizens are included; in addition to 32 Kenyans, 9 Ethiopians, 18 Canadians, 8 Italians, 8 Chinese, 8 Americans and 7 British.
7 citizens of France, 6 of Egypt, 5 of Holland, 4 of India, 4 of Slovakia, 3 of Austria and 2 of Morocco also lost their lives; in addition to 4 people traveling with a United Nations passport, among others.
The Ethiopian Airlines pilot who led the flight in Ethiopia last Sunday reported "flight control" problems after takeoff and requested an airstrip to return to the Addis Ababa airport.
"I'm requesting a return home, I'm requesting a vector (navigation system) to land," the pilot said in apparent panic to the controllers, a person who has reviewed communications between the ship and the control tower told The New York Times.
Boeing, on the other hand, paralyzed the deliveries of the 737 MAX 8 model on Thursday.
The aeronautical giant has accumulated this week a loss of more than 27,000 million dollars in market capitalization.