Ethiopian Airlines crash 'unimaginable' tragedy, says MP who flew with victims
Hull-Aylmer MP Greg Fergus was heading to Addis Ababa as part of delegation
A Gatineau, Que., MP who flew alongside many of the victims of Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash right before they boarded the doomed aircraft is calling their deaths an "unimaginable" tragedy.
Greg Fergus, who represents Hull–Aylmer, was on a flight from Toronto to Addis Ababa as part of a parliamentary delegation.
All 157 people on board a connecting flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi died when the plane crashed shortly after takeoff.
Eighteen Canadians were killed in the crash, and Fergus told Radio-Canada he knew that 10 of those victims had earlier been on his plane from Toronto.
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Fergus said he believed he spoke with one of them.
"It's a really unfortunate story ... it's unimaginable," he said in an interview in French.
"These are people who were there to do good, to see their families, to participate in a United Nations conference or to volunteer — as many do in developing countries — and by misfortune they [died] on the flight."
In a French-language Facebook post, Fergus also shared his condolences with the friends and families of those who died.
Other delegation members expressed similar sentiments on social media.
A warm and hospitable way to start our day with a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. This followed a time with Embassy staff in Addis Ababa when we honoured those killed in yesterday’s crash and their families. <a href="https://t.co/09HVuuZDS7">pic.twitter.com/09HVuuZDS7</a>—@Rob_Oliphant
Flags are at half mast all over Ethiopia today following the tragic crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane-157 died including 18 Canadians. Every meeting (Canada -Africa Parl.Ass. with our hosts has opened with a moment of silence. So much compassion here for everyone’s loss. <a href="https://t.co/QDowpGzd0e">pic.twitter.com/QDowpGzd0e</a>—@SenatorMunson
Fergus said the work of the delegation — which was traveling to both Ethiopia and Rwanda for meetings with government officials — would continue.
He also said he attended a memorial ceremony for the victims.
A total of 149 passengers and eight crew members perished in the crash. The investigation is ongoing, and authorities have found the flight data recorders from the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane.