A family of five from Hamilton and a family of six from Brampton were among the victims in the devastating Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed everyone on board.
7-month-old Rubi Paul, was travelling to Kenya with her mother, grandmother and older siblings to meet her grandfather Quindos Karanja for the very first time. The baby girl, born in Canada, was the only one with Canadian citizenship in the family.
“It’s just hard to accept that this has happened,” Karanja said Tuesday in a telephone interview from Kenya. “I feel so much loss. And pain. I’m lonely.”
Karanja said he’s struggling to come to terms with the loss of not only Rubi, but also his wife and Rubi’s 60-year-old grandmother, Ann Wangui Karanja, her his daughter and Rubi’s 34-year-old mother, Carolyne Karanja, and Rubi’s siblings — 7-year-old Ryan and 4-year-old Kerri.
His wife, Anne, travelled to Canada for what was to be a three-month visit in August, but had extended her stay to help Carolyne, who had given birth.
Carolyne, a Kenyan, had applied to be a permanent resident in Canada, he said.
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
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.”
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.