NAIROBI, KENYA - Families from different parts of the world continue to mourn the deaths of their loved ones killed Sunday in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. Thirty-four-year-old Abdulahi Ibrahim was one of 32 Kenyans who perished on the Nairobi-bound flight. His family is still coming to terms with the death of their loved one.
A few hours before he boarded Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, Abdulahi Ibrahim chatted with his sister Aisha.
Aisha had not seen her brother for close to a year and was excited about the reunion.
“The last time I saw my brother was a year ago when he came back for vacation," said Aisha. "I spoke to him the night before he boarded the flight. He said that I should not tell the extended family that he was coming. He wanted it to be a surprise."
Four days later, mourners continue to visit Abdulahi’s home in Nairobi’s Kibera neighborhood.
Abdulahi’s family is now hoping they can at least bury their loved one.
Abdulahi’s uncle, Osman Abdulahi Taban, spoke to VOA.
“The way I talked to my brother, I told him even if a piece can be identified, it is good for him to come with it so that we can bury," said Abdulahi.
Sunday’s crash was the deadliest aircraft accident in Ethiopian Airlines history.
The plane, a Boeing 737 Max 8, crashed just six minutes after takeoff, near the Ethiopian town of Bishoftu, killing all 157 on board.
Five months earlier, another Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed into the Java Sea off Indonesia, killing 189.
Monday, Ethiopian Airlines regional manager Yilma Goshu announced the airline was grounding its Max 8 fleet, a move followed by most other airlines and countries around the world.
"But this does not mean that the incident was related with defects on this specific fleet. But we have taken this as an extra safety precaution," Goshu said.
The plane’s flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder have been sent to Paris for detailed analysis.
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines on Tuesday flew 64 relatives of the victims to the crash site. Abdulahi's wife and father were among them.
Their hopes of finding a piece of Abdulahi’s body to bury are slim. On Wednesday, an airline spokesman said that no bodies were recovered from the crash site. It appears the force of the crash pulverized all the bodies.
As Abdulahi’s family continues to mourn, they hope they will find the closure they need, with or without his remains.