In Summary
  • More than 32 Kenyans died in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash at Bishoftu on Sunday.
  • All 157 people on the plane, passengers and crew, died in the crash just 60km from Addis Ababa.

The new United States (US) Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter has honoured families and victims of the Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 that crashed on Sunday.

Mr McCarter led the US embassy staff at the Nairobi office in a moment of silence for the 157 people, 32 of whom were Kenyan nationals.

Kenya suffered the biggest casualties in the tragedy.

Several other victims in the plane were also Kenyans who held dual citizenship and were accounted as non-Kenyans having travelled with passports of their new countries.

“Countless people are mourning the loss of friends and loved ones while the world has lost the energy and talents of the 157 people aboard that flight.  Carnivore restaurant also lost a member of their family. Jonathan Seex, the CEO of Carnivore’s parent company Tamarind Group was a passenger on board that morning.  I offer my sincere condolences to the friends, family and colleagues of Jonathan and to all those we lost.  I would now like to ask that we observe a moment of silence in their honour,” said Mr McArcter.

The new envoy was speaking on Thursday at Carnivore restaurant during the launch of Caterpillar’s excavators.

“Earlier this week, it was my great privilege to present my credentials to President [Uhuru] Kenyatta and receive an official welcome to Kenya.  It’s an honor for me to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, and represent my country in a place that has been a second home to me for many years of my life,” said Mr McArter who has taken over from Robert Godec.

On Thursday, the US grounded its fleet of the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft after investigators found new evidence at the crash scene in Bishoftu, Ethiopian.

The country’s aviation agency said the new evidence as well as satellite data prompted decision to ground the aircrafts amid investigations.

The agency had hesitated temporarily banning the planes even as other countries, including its neighbour Canada, grounded fleet over safety fears.

Addis said on Thursday it has flown the ill-fated flight’s black box recorders to Paris for analysis since it lacks technical capacity.