Toronto man shares tragedy of losing five family members in Ethiopian Airlines crash
Published Wednesday, April 10, 2019 7:15PM EDT
Paul Njoroge has spent the last month replaying the same six minutes in his mind -- the amount of time it took for Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 to crash shortly after its takeoff from Addis Ababa last month, killing everyone on board.
Njoroge lost his wife Carolyne Naranja, his six-year-old son Ryan, four-year-old daughter Kelly, nine-month-old baby Rubi, and his mother-in-law Ann Karanja.
“To think what they went through over the six minutes, the fear, and my wife knowing that she has all three kids in that aircraft -- and my mom-in-law as well.” He said. “What went through her mind?”
Njoroge is back in Toronto after visiting the crash site in Ethiopia and spending several weeks in Kenya, but his return to Canada is not something to celebrate.
“Every time I came to Toronto...I knew that I’m going to meet them,” he said. “This time…I travelled knowing that there is nobody to come see me.”
His family was on their way back to Kenya, as the children’s grandmother was returning to live there. Njoroge was planning on quitting his job in Bermuda last month, so he could move to Hamilton, Ont., permanently to be with his wife and kids.
“Without them, my world went silent.”
Now staying with friends in Toronto, Njoroge is reaching out to other families in the area who also lost loved ones in the crash.
“I know there’s a family who lost six members, and they are going through such [kind of] pain.” He said.
“These are people I can relate with.”
Njoroge told CTV Toronto’s Tracy Tong that he has read the preliminary report on the crash, but is waiting for the investigation to finish.
He also awaits word on if or when he can recover their remains and belongings, after giving DNA samples during his visit to Ethiopia.
An Ethiopian Airlines official told attendees of the UN staff and aid workers memorial in Addis Ababa today that results from DNA tests of any remains found are going to be available in the next six months, and insurance payments are now being processed.