Most of the bodies of the 157 people including 32 Kenyans who perished in the Ethiopian plane crash will never be recovered, identified and buried.
Grieving relatives and friends who flew to Addis Ababa in hopes of retrieving something will be devastated by the lack of remains.
A BBC interview, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Tewolde Gebremariam said most of the bodies were reduced to ashes by the intense heat of the fire and only a few pieces have been recovered.
“By the time I reached the site on Sunday the plane was completely underground and there was no sign of it above the ground. We had to dig up the wreckage to try and find bodies.
The Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi crashed on Sunday, killing all aboard. It carried passengers from 30 countries and 21 United Nations staff members.
The jet plunged into a field 60km kilometres (37 miles) outside Addis Ababa, and the impact of the crash and fire left the victims’ remains in fragments. They could take weeks or months to identify, if at all, experts say. If there is anything to identify, DNA or dental records would be required.
Yesterday relatives of the dead stormed out of a meeting with Ethiopian Airlines staff in the Skylight Hotel near Bole International Airport, deploring what they called a lack of transparency, while others made the painful trip to the crash scene.
The angry family members left the meeting at the hotel, saying that they are frustrated by a lack of answers to their questions. Some stood up to ask questions.
They said they wanted more “transparency” from the airlines and more details of Sunday’s accident.
An Ethiopian Airlines staff member replied that the crash was under investigation and that more details were emerging day by day.
A stoic man in a dark coat said he was steeling himself for the three-hour journey to the crash site.
Some held up framed photographs of loved ones as the meeting room filled up, becoming a packed grieving centre.
Couples held each other, slumped forward in their chairs, their gazes downcast. Some held their heads in their hands.
Women in headscarves leaned for comfort against heir relatives.
It was an emotional and heart-wrenching scene at the crash site when relatives arrived to pay their respects.
Family members mourned at the site. They placed portraits and floral tributes at the site where Flight ET302 crashed.