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 and Ashka Dixit, were among the 157 who died when the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet which went down shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa.
Ashka Dixit, 14, and Anushka Dixit, 13, were on a family vacation with their parents, 37-year-old Kosha Vaidya and 45-year-old Preit Dixit and their grandparents, 73-year-old Pannagesh Vaidya and 67-year-old Hansini Vaidya when an Ethiopian Airlines plane went down shortly after departing from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.
Ashka was a student at Chinguacousy Secondary School.
“This tragedy has brought great sadness to the students and staff at Chinguacousy Secondary School,” a PDSB release reads.
Anushka attended Centennial Sr. Public School.
Mediapersons spoke to Manant Vaidya and his wife Hiral Vaidya about the loss of his parents, sister, brother-in-law and two nieces.
The couple said their family members were on a trip to Kenya during the March break as Kosha Vaidya wanted to show her daughters where she grew up.
“She wanted to show her daughter where she was born – where she was delivered in the hospital and the safari was the place they were going to go enjoy the animals,” Manant Vaidya said while holding back tears inside their home. “With the March break this was the perfect oppourtunity for them to show them. They told my parents that if they would like to come as well but unfortunately my parents agreed as well and everybody in my family… they got lost.”
Hiral Vaidya said her husband’s parents lived with them and this tragedy has left their home feeling empty.
“It’s a huge loss for us,” she said. “We don’t know – it’s hard to recover from this. The house is very lonely. It’s very hard.”
“We can’t believe this is truth right now.”
Manant Vaidya said his parents immigrated to Canada about five years ago from India.
“I came to Toronto in 2006 and they always used to support me. They used to come on visitor visas and then they came up here in 2012 or 2013 so it has been about five years they were permanent residents of Canada. I sponsored my parents so they could live with me and it was for the kids. They were all alone in India.”
He said he has been in contact with both the Canadian Consulate and the Indian Embassy in Ethiopia.
“We are still waiting for the body remains if I can even get it because right now it crashed so badly that I don’t even know if I will be getting the body parts right now. Currently my preference is to get the remains and then get them to rest as soon as possible.”
Toronto woman, Carleton professor, Edmonton mother among those killed
The plane crashed shortly after taking off Sunday morning, bound for Nairobi, Kenya.
The victims were from 35 countries, authorities say, including 18 Canadians
A Toronto woman, a Carleton professor, and an Edmonton mother were among those who died.