Four family members who died in Ethiopia air crash buried

Raw emotion cut through Paul Njoroge’s homestead as friends and family members held a requiem service for the burial of his wife and three children who died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10.

Njoroge’s wife Caroline Quinns, 34, and the three children Ryan Njuguna, 7, Kelli Wanjiku, 4, and nine-month old Rubi Wangui were buried at their rural home in Kiangai village, Bahati sub county yesterday. Portraits of the plane victims were neatly arranged on caskets as mourners eulogised them.

Njoroge was joined by the family of his father-in-law, John Karanja - who also lost his wife Anne Wangui in the crash. She was travelling together with Njoroge’s wife from Canada before being involved in the crash that killed 157 people.

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Casket carrying the remains arrived at their rural home from Lee Funeral Home in Nairobi yesterday morning for the burial conducted by the Seventh Day Adventist.

Njoroge was overwhelmed with grief as he read attributes for his loved ones. “We gather here today to celebrate the lives of our departed loved ones. We were all taken from the ground, for dust we are and to dust we will return.”

He said though the burial would bring closure, he will miss loving moments of his wife and children. “This action today will give us a place to gather and remember how Carol, Ryan, Kelli and Robi touched our lives, their huge smiles, their deep love rooted in the goodness of family,” Njoroge said.

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He added: “I carry your heart with me, I am never without it, and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darlings.” Njoroge told Saturday Standard in an earlier interview that his expectations were to identify bodies of his loved ones for a decent burial, even if they were badly mutilated.

The family had already set up a memorial plaque in memory of their loved ones, after word went around that their remains would not be recovered. 

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