NEWS
03/10/2019 16:21 EDT | Updated 03/13/2019 15:18 EDT

These Are The Canadians Killed In The Ethiopian Airlines Crash

They include a mother and daughter, a university professor, a budding environmentalist and a family of six.

The identities of the 18 Canadians killed when an Ethiopian Airlines plane went down shortly after takeoff are starting to emerge, as those who knew them begin to share their grief.

It is not yet clear what caused the crash of the new Boeing 737-8 MAX plane, which departed from Bole Airport in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi, Kenya.

All 157 passengers and crew died in the crash.

Here's what we know about the victims so far:

Ameen Ismail Noormohamed

Ameen Ismail Noormohamed, 72, was a grandfather who had recently moved to Kenya from Canada. His son, Naheed, confirmed his death to Global News, and said he travelled often between Canada and Kenya.

Ismaili Centre Toronto also confirmed his death to CityNews and sent their condolences to Noodmohamed's family and all others affected.

"We offer our deepest sympathies and prayers to all of the families who have lost loved ones in the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy," they said.

Dawn Tanner

The Grand Erie District School Board in Ontario issued a statement confirming the death of teacher Dawn Tanner.

The board says Tanner was the department head for special education at Hagersville Secondary School, where she'd taught since 2005.

It says Tanner also volunteered as a homework support person at a local centre for Indigenous students.

Rubi Pauls

One of the youngest victims of the Ethiopian Airlines crash is nine-month-old Canadian Rubi Pauls, who was on the way to Kenya from Ontario to meet her grandfather for the first time for Easter.

The grandfather, Quindos Karanja, says Rubi's 60-year-old grandmother, Ann Wangui Karanja, was also on the flight.

So was Rubi's 34-year-old mother, Carolyne Karanja, Rubi's seven-year-old brother Ryan, and her sister Kerri, who was four.

Rubi was the only Canadian citizen in the family.

Karanja said he knows he has to be strong and accept reality, but he doesn't know how to do that.

"It's just hard to accept that this has happened. I feel so much loss. And pain. I'm lonely."

Darcy Belanger

A conservation not-for-profit group has confirmed on its website that Darcy Belanger, a former Edmonton resident, was on board the Kenya-bound Boeing 737 Max 8.

The statement from Parvati.org says Belanger was its founding member and director of strategic initiatives.

"Darcy was truly a champion and a force of nature, one whose passing leaves an unimaginable gap in this work as well as in the lives of his family, friends and colleagues." the statement reads. "Yet he also leaves us with a deep determination to honor his legacy of courage, compassion and focus."

Belanger's LinkedIn profile says he was working as a United States director of professional development with PCL Construction in Denver.

Admired for his courage, outstanding achievements, and noble qualities, Darcy was a hero in every sense of the word.Statement from Parvati

Parvati.org says Belanger had taken time off from his day job with PCL and was travelling to Nairobi for the United Nations Environment Assembly.

The organization said he was a champion of the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary or MAPS because he realized the importance of the Arctic Ocean in balancing global weather patterns. MAPS declares the entire Arctic Ocean north of the Arctic Circle a protected area, the group said in a statement.

"Admired for his courage, outstanding achievements, and noble qualities, Darcy was a hero in every sense of the word,'' Parvati said. "He was passionately devoted to the protection of all life through the realization of MAPS.''

Stephanie Lacroix

Facebook
Stephanie Lacroix's Facebook profile photo.

Stephanie Lacroix was passionate about youth education and life skills development in both Canada and southern Africa.

Lacroix was working with the United Nations Association in Canada to help engage young Canadians in the UN's work to grow global citizens as a project officer with the association's Canada Service Corps, her LinkedIn profile says.

She graduated in 2015 with an honours degree in International Development and Globalization from the University of Ottawa.

She really was a star.Jasveen Brar, friend of Stephanie Lacroix

She was a board member of the African Community Fund for Education Canada and previously volunteered with Free the Children.

Her mother Sylvie Lamarche Lacroix of Timmins, Ont., confirmed her death in a Facebook message.

In an interview, Jasveen Brar said she met Lacroix at COP24 in Poland.

"She was a mentor to me and the two other guys that were selected for the conference. Since the COP, we kept in touch over email, where she offered me lots of advice about my career and life, she really was a star,'' Brar said.

Angela Rehhorn

Facebook
An image of Angela Rehhorn on her Facebook page.

Angela Rehhorn, 24, was an enthusiastic conservation volunteer from Orillia, Ont., who was developing a citizen science project on bat conservation.

The Canadian Wildlife Federation says she had recently participated in its Canadian Conservation Corps, a volunteer program for Canadians ages 18 to 30.

She was on her way to participate in the United Nations Environmental Assembly in Nairobi as part of the UN Association of Canada's Canada Service Corps Program, it said.

Rick Bates, CEO of the Canadian Wildlife Federation, said in an interview that Rehhorn was a well-liked "outdoors girl'' who was also a great leader.

She was full of excitement and the optimism of youth and wanting to change the world and work on changing the world.Rick Bates, Canadian Wildlife Federation

"She was full of excitement and the optimism of youth and wanting to change the world and work on changing the world. And that's what she was doing,'' Bates said.

Rehhorn recently completed a bachelor of science at Dalhousie University and was "thrilled'' to take part in the conservation corps, the federation said.

Her experience took her to Alberta where she went backpacking in Kananaskis this fall, then to Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island for her field training. At the time of her death, Rehhorn had just finished volunteering her time to do species surveys and was especially interested in expanding her experience working in the marine environment, the federation said.

Kosha, Prerit, Ashka and Anushka Dixit

Facebook/CP
Prerit Dixit, second from left, and wife Kosha, right, pose for a photo with their children Ashka and Anushka in a family vacation photo published to Facebook.

Kosha Dixit, her husband Prerit and their two daughters, Ashka and Anushka, were travelling to Kenya for March break, according to Shreya Agarwal, a friend of the family.

Agrawal said she confirmed the news with Dixit's brother, Manant, who also lives in Brampton.

"I miss them a lot," Manant told The Canadian Press, adding he and his wife and kids got together every weekend with his sister's family.

"I don't really believe this has happened. I'm still in the shock phase."

Agarwal told HuffPost that Dixit was born in Kenya and wanted to show her daughters where she grew up and went to school.

The Peel District School Board confirmed that Anushka and Ashka attended Centennial Sr. Public School and Chinguacousy Secondary School respectively.

The girls were strong students who excelled in science and technology courses, Manant said. The elder daughter, Ashka, had a beautiful singing voice while Anushka was talented in dance, learning a traditional Indian form called khattak, he said.

Agarwal said Dixit was also accompanied by her parents, who the Times of India identified as Hansini Vaidya and Pannagesh Vaidya.

India's minister of external affairs Sushma Swaraj, tweeted that she had spoken to Manan to offer assistance to the family.

Facebook/CP
Pannagesh Vaidya and wife Hansini are seen in an undated photo published to Facebook.

Dixit worked as an HR adviser with the Canadian Hearing Society. The organization said in a statement to HuffPost that staff members were shocked and saddened to hear that Dixit and her family were on the flight and expressed its condolences to all the families who have lost loved ones in the tragedy.

"Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to Kosha's and Prerit's family during this tragic time. She was a remarkable person and a valued member of our team, who had a brilliant future ahead of her. We express our most sincere and deepest condolences to her entire family." said Julia Dumanian, president and CEO of the group.

Micah Messent

Instagram
Micah Messent on Instagram.

Messent was an environmentalist from British Columbia who expressed his joy on social media at being able to attend the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi.

In an Instagram post, he said he had been selected by the United Nations Association of Canada to attend the assembly and was travelling to Kenya where he would "have the chance to meet with other passionate youth and leaders from around the world and explore how we can tackle the biggest challenges that are facing our generation.''

He was a bright light among all of those bright lights. He was very enthusiastic, a bright young scholar, very committed to the environment and the land.'Prof. Laurie Maijer Drees, Vancouver Island University

"I'm so grateful for this opportunity and want to thank all of the people in my life who have helped me get this far.''

Prof. Laurie Meijer Drees taught Messent at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo and said he was committed to being a role model for Indigenous youth and was regarded as a trailblazer among his classmates and the faculty.

"He was a bright light among all of those bright lights,'' she said. "He was very enthusiastic, a bright young scholar, very committed to the environment and the land.''

Drees said Messent was part of a group of about a dozen Indigenous Studies students who wanted to make the world a better place.

The First Nations Leadership Council said Messent was a member of the Red River Metis Nation in Manitoba and was raised as the youngest of five siblings in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. It said he had plans to return to school in the future to pursue a law degree.

Pius Adesanmi

Facebook
A photo of Pius Adesanmi taken from his Facebook profile.

Pius Adesanmi, a professor in the English language and literature department as well as the Institute of African Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, was a "towering figure in African and post-colonial scholarship," said Benoit-Antoine Bacon, the school's president and vice-chancellor.

"The Carleton University community is in shock," he said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those who knew and loved him, and with everyone who suffered a loss in the tragic crash in Ethiopia."

Pauline Rankin, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, said Adesanmi's contributions to Carleton were "immeasurable."

"He worked tirelessly to build the Institute of African Studies, to share his boundless passion for African literature and to connect with and support students," she said in a statement. "He was a scholar and teacher of the highest calibre who leaves a deep imprint on Carleton."

Adesanmi was also a well-known writer in his native Nigeria, according to the Globe and Mail, and "was a leading public intellectual concerning everything Africa," according to his colleague Blair Rutherford.

"From what was happening in Abuja or Pretoria to the varied countrysides, from the vibrant social-media worlds trying to hold those in power to account to the dynamic and diverse African diaspora communities, [he was] an incisive thinker who was incredibly gregarious and always quick with a quip or three," Rutherford told the newspaper.

Mitchell Dick, a Carleton student who took an African literature course with Adesanmi, said he was was "extremely nice and approachable," and stood out for his passion for the subject matter.

Adesanmi received The Penguin Prize for African Writing in 2010, said Bacon.

The academic's last post on Facebook was uploaded the day before the crash and shows a picture of Adesanmi holding his passport, captioned with a Bible verse.

Amina Ibrahim Odowaa and Safiya Faisal Ega

Amina Ibrahim Odowaa and her five-year-old daughter Safiya Faisal Ega, who lived in Edmonton, were flying to visit relatives when the plane crashed. Odowaa and her family had immigrated to Canada in 2006 from Somalia via Kenya where Safiya and her other children were born.

Odowaa's brother, Mohamed Hassan Ali, of Toronto, said he had planned to travel with them but had to cancel last week.

CP
Amina Odowaa is seen in an undated family handout photo.

"(She was) a very nice person, very outgoing, very friendly. Had a lot of friends,'" he said.

"She always put other people's needs before her ... she was always calling this person, making connections. She was that person," he told the Globe and Mail.

CP
Sofia Faisal Abdulkadir is seen in an undated family handout photo.

Odowaa has two other daughters, aged seven and three, who were not on the flight.

A family friend said Odowaa has lived in Edmonton since 2006.

Derick Lwugi

Facebook
Derick Lwugi lived in Calgary and was confirmed to be one of the victims of the crash.

An accountant with the City of Calgary, Lwugi was on his way to Kenya to see both his and his wife's parents, who live in the west of the country.

"His mom was not feeling well," Lwugi's wife, Gladys Kivia, told The Canadian Press in a brief interview from Calgary.

"He loved people," his wife said told the Globe and Mail. "If people had any needs or problems, he was there to, you know, organize people around that family or whatever they needed."

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi tweeted that he was "absolutely crushed" to hear about Lwugi's passing.

Lwugi leaves behind three children, aged 17, 19 and 20. The family has lived in Calgary for 12 years.

Danielle Moore

Facebook
Danielle Moore's Facebook profile photo.

Media reports indicated that environmental activist Danielle Moore, who lived in Winnipeg, was among the victims.

The 24-year-old posted on Facebook on Saturday that she was travelling to Nairobi for the United Nations Environment Assembly.

"Over the next week I'll have the opportunity to discuss global environmental issues, share stories, and connect with other youth and leaders from all over the world," she wrote.

"I feel beyond privileged to be receiving this opportunity."

"She always strived to make the world a better place," her brother, David, wrote to CBC News via Facebook.

"She didn't have a bad thing to say about anybody," her father told the Globe and Mail. "She had a whole life ahead of her. We miss her deeply."

A woman identifying herself on Twitter as Moore's aunt also posted that she was "profoundly saddened that this bright light has been snuffed out so quickly."

Moore also worked for the charity Canada Learning Code.

Peter DeMarsh

These Are The Canadians Killed In The Ethiopian Airlines

Peter DeMarsh from Taymouth, N.B. was the president of the International Family Forestry Alliance. Dominic Walubengo, director of Kenya's Forest Action Network, confirmed his death on Twitter.

"He was due to attend a conference on family owned forests and climate change at Nairobi. I was to meet him on Monday evening for dinner," Walubengo wrote.

Jessica Hyba

Facebook
Jessica Hyba's Facebook profile picture.

Jessica Hyba's Facebook page says she was born in Ottawa and pursued a career in international aid work.

She worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as an public relations officer, based in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Prior to that, the UNHCR said Hyba worked for CARE Canada.

That agency issued a statement saying she had worked in Indonesia as part of the emergency response to the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.

"We remember her fondly as a dedicated humanitarian and loving mother,'' CARE Canada said on their website.

This post will continue to be updated as information about the victims of the crash becomes available. Please check back for updates.

With files from Sima Shakeri and Mohamed Omar

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