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Justice must be done for the victims of the Ethiopia plane crash

20 122 0
20.04.2019

On Monday, March 11, John Quindos Karanja went to Nairobi to pick up his wife, their daughter and three grandchildren from the airport. He had prepared a small celebration for them back home, since he was to meet his youngest granddaughter for the first time.

Instead of celebrating that day, however, he had to mourn their deaths. All five were on board Ethiopian Airways' Boeing 737 Max which had crashed, killing all 157 passengers and crew on board. The youngest victim was his nine-months-old granddaughter, Rubi.

It is important to begin any conversation about the aftermath of the ET 302 tragedy with stories like these because they are likely to get lost amid discussions about aviation technology and regulatory frameworks.

When the tragedy hit, I was struck the most by the speed at which both Boeing and the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) in the US took to defending their planes and shifting blame to Ethiopian Airlines, as well as the number of international publications willing to go along with that story.

One article in the New York Times even suggested that the cause of the crash might have been a terrorist attack, since the flight ET 302 originated in Ethiopia and was meant to land in Kenya - the two countries currently being involved in the fight against al-Shabab in Somalia. Another NYT piece scrutinised the training the ET 302 captain received and questioned Ethiopia Airlines' procedures. After all, it's easier to believe that an aeroplane belonging to an African airline was bombed or mishandled than to imagine that an American........

© Al Jazeera