Ottawa woman feared dead in Indian Ocean plane crash
An Ottawa woman is believed to have been a passenger on the airliner that crashed into the Indian Ocean on Tuesday with 153 people on board, the woman's family told CBC News on Tuesday.
Emsumata Abdoulghani, who is in her early 30s, was supposed to have been on board the Yemenia Airways flight, said her husband, Youssouf Mahamoud, from the family's home in Ottawa, where he and two of their three children are awaiting news.
Abdoulghani's third child, a baby boy, had been left with her sister in Paris while she was travelling with some of her family members, who are also thought to have been on the plane.
Friends of the family said the mother of three had been on her way to visit her parents because her mother is ill.
Mahamoud said the airline hasn't officially told him that his wife is dead.
Abdoulghani's family and friends gathered at the family home in downtown Ottawa while her husband made preparations to fly overseas Tuesday afternoon.
Yemenia Airways Flight 626 was en route from the Yemeni capital of San'a to the island nation of the Comoros when it went down in the Indian Ocean between the southeastern African coast and Madagascar at about 1:50 a.m. local time, officials said. It was the last leg of a journey taking passengers from Paris and Marseille to Comoros via Yemen.
Airline officials have said French, Comorans, Yemenis, Filipinos, Indonesians, Moroccans, Ethiopians and one Canadian were listed on the Airbus A310's passenger manifest.
A trust fund has been set up for the family of Emsumata Abdoulghani. TD Canada Trust branches across the country are accepting cash and cheque donations to account number 6388139-0354. Cheques should be made payable to Fatima Bujara in trust or Mohamed Mahamoud in trust.
The majority of the 142 passengers were from the Comoros Islands and were returning home from Paris, according to officials. France has said 66 of the passengers were French citizens. The plane also had 11 crew.
Officials confirmed three bodies and a 14-year-old female survivor have been recovered in the water off the Comoros, an archipelago of three islands about 2,900 kilometres south of Yemen.
There are reports that other survivors have been plucked from the ocean, including the captain of the plane, but authorities have not yet provided further information.
Three search and rescue boats have been sent to an area about 30 kilometres from the destination airport, where debris and several bodies have been spotted in the water, said Mohammed Abdul Qader, a Yemeni civil aviation deputy.
Poor weather affected the region at the time of the crash, with wind speeds up to 61 km/h and choppy seas.
Officials said there was no distress call from the plane when contact was lost on its landing approach, about five minutes before its expected arrival at the Comoran capital, Moroni, on the main island of Grand Comore.
With files from The Associated Press