Six members of Brampton family among the dead in Ethiopian Airlines crash

Two students, their parents, and grandparents are dead following the Ethiopian Airlines crash that happened on Sunday, according to the Peel District School Board. 

Victims include two children — Anushka Dixit, 13, and Ashka Dixit, 14

From left to right: Ashka Dixit, Prerit Dixit, Kosha Vaidya, and Anushka Dixit. The family was among those killed when a Boeing 737 Max 8 jet crashed in Ethiopia. (Pramesh Nandi/Facebook )

Two students, their parents, and grandparents are dead following the Ethiopian Airlines crash that happened on Sunday, according to the Peel District School Board.

The board says it was told by police that two students, Anushka Dixit, 13, and Ashka Dixit, 14, were among the 157 who died when the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet went down shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa.

The victims include Pannagesh Vaidya, 73; his wife Hansini Vaidya, 67; their daughter Kosha Vaidya, 37; her husband Prerit Dixit, 45; and their two children — Anushka and Ashka — according to Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown.

"This is an unbelievably tragic situation for this family," Brown said in a statement.

"As more details become known, I will provide a further update on how Brampton residents can assist this family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this time of sorrow and reflection."

Ashka was a student at Chinguacousy Secondary School, according to a statement from the school.

"This tragedy has brought great sadness to the students and staff at Chinguacousy Secondary School," the release reads.

Anushka attended Centennial Sr. Public School, according to a separate release.

The plane crashed shortly after taking off Sunday morning, bound for Nairobi, Kenya.

'I don't have anyone else now' 

Manant Vaidya is the uncle of Ashka and Anushka — he's the brother of the girls' mother, Kosha.

He dropped off the family to Pearson International Airport on Saturday morning — what would be the second-last day of their lives.

"It's a huge tragedy," he said. "I lost my parents, I lost my sister. I don't have anyone else now."

Vaidya said his sister, who became a Canadian permanent resident in 2003, wanted to take her children to Kenya to visit her birthplace.

"They thought March break was the perfect time for them to go over there, have fun," he said. "It was going to be a really great trip for everybody."

Manant Vaidya — who lost his parents, sister, brother-in-law, and two nieces in the plane crash — with his wife Hiral Vaidya. (Garry Asselstine/CBC)

Vaidya said his parents, who became permanent residents in 2012, insisted that they also wanted to go on the trip.

"I asked my dad why he wanted to go and he told me that in his life he wants to go one more time."

Vaidya said his brother-in-law was working seven days a week in order to pay for the trip.

'I don't think I can live without them' 

Vaidya said he woke up to more than 100 missed calls on Sunday morning.

When he was told of the death of his family, which was around 6:30 a.m. Sunday, he said he didn't believe it. So he went to Pearson airport, and spoke with officials, who confirmed their deaths.

"I am speechless," he said. "The best times of my life [were] with my family."

Six members of this Brampton family are among the dead in Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash. (Garry Asselstine/CBC)

Vaidya and his wife had previously lived in Markham, but moved in June to be closer to their family.

"We moved here so we could have all the family members together, so it's hard to believe," said Manant Vaidya's wife, Hiral.

"My in-laws are my great support," she said. "I don't think I can live without them."

The victims were from 35 countries, authorities say, including 18 Canadians

A Toronto woman, a Carleton professor, and an Edmonton mother were among those who died.


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