Ottawa's Jessica Hyba killed in Ethiopian Airlines crash

An Ottawa woman who had been overseas for years working with a United Nations agency was killed in Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Hyba had recently moved to Mogadishu, Somalia, to work for UN agency

Jessica Hyba, above, had just wrapped up a ski trip with her daughter and was excited to get back to her job in Somalia before the crash, according to her friend. (Facebook)

An Ottawa woman who had been overseas for years working with a United Nations agency was killed in Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Jessica Hyba had been working for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland, for years and was recently reassigned to Somalia's capital of Mogadishu, according to the agency.

She had just wrapped up a ski trip with her daughter and was excited to get back to her job in Somalia, said her friend Jessica Mackie, who spoke to Hyba by phone Saturday, the day before the crash.

Mackie told CBC News it was devastating to lose her close friend, and that they were "kindred spirits."

"We're very best friends, and she knew me better than I know myself. We've been friends from the time we were small. We've been through everything together," she said.

"Both the United Nations and Canada have lost one of the best humanitarians. She died doing what she loved."

Hyba had recently been reassigned to Somalia's capital of Mogadishu. (Facebook)

Carleton professor also killed

Eighteen Canadians were killed when the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane crashed shortly after leaving the Addis Ababa, Ethiopia international airport on Sunday.

The flight was headed to Nairobi.

The director of Carleton University's Institute of African Studies, Pius Adesanmi, was also among the dead.

Ethiopian Airlines, as well as all Chinese airlines, have grounded their Boeing 737 Max 8 planes indefinitely in the wake of the crash.

Canada's two largest airlines, Air Canada and WestJet, say they are confident in the safety of the Boeing 737.

The black box of the crashed plane has been found as investigators try to piece together what happened.

With files from The Canadian Press