Ottawa: The ‘trip of a lifetime’ to a safari park in Kenya turned into a nightmare for six members of a family from India in Canada who perished when the Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed killing all 157 passengers Sunday minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa.
The victims included 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 — Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown was quoted as saying by the ‘Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’.
While the Surat-based Vaidya couple was Indian nationals, their daughter, husband and two children were Canadians of Indian-origin.
“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.”
The flags at city hall will remain at half-mast until further notice in honour of the family, Brown said in a message on Twitter.
“It’s a huge tragedy,” Manant Vaidya, son of Pannagesh, said. “I lost my parents, I lost my sister. I don’t have anyone else now.”
Manant 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,” Manant informed. “It was going to be a really great trip for everybody. I asked my dad why he wanted to go and he told me that in his life he wants to go one more time.”
Manant said he last saw his family Saturday morning when he dropped them off at Toronto Pearson International Airport for their 10.00am flight overseas.
Manant and his wife said they are currently speaking with consular officials overseas and waiting for more information on their family’s remains, the report said.
People from 35 countries were reportedly on board the flight ET 302 when it ploughed into a field, 60-kilometres southeast of Addis Ababa.