Sons shock at generous fathers death

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Media captionSon of Ethiopian Airlines passenger: “I’m still in shock”

A British man whose father was on the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed on Sunday has spoken of the last moments they spent together.

Ben Kuria said he was still in shock after hearing that Joseph Waithaka – a 55-year-old Kenyan and British dual national – was on board the flight.

Tributes have also been paid to a British woman, Joanna Toole, who was also among the 149 passengers who died.

The Foreign Office said at least seven Britons were on the flight.

The crash happened at 08:44 local time (05:44 GMT), six minutes after the months-old Boeing 737 Max-8 took off.

Eight crew members also died, the airline said.

Mr Kuria described his father, who moved to the UK in 2004, as a “generous” man who “loved justice”.

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Ben Kuria

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Mr Waithaka moved to the UK in 2004

Mr Waithaka lived in Hull and worked for the Humberside Probation Trust before returning to live in Kenya in 2015. He had three children.

Mr Kuria said he had seen his father in Croydon, south London on Saturday, as he had been in the UK visiting relatives.

They had a meal together and said goodbye before his father caught a flight to Addis Ababa, he said.

“I gave him a hug and shook his hand, because in my culture it’s more about the handshake than it is about the hug,” he told BBC News.

“And I said we’ll probably see you at some point soon. We usually spend a bit more time saying goodbye, but yesterday it kind of just felt routine.”

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Ben Kuria

Joanna Toole, 36, from Exmouth and now living in Rome, was also killed in the crash.

Ms Toole, who worked for the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation, was travelling to the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi.

Her father, Adrian Toole, told Devon Live she was a “very soft and loving person” and had worked for international animal welfare organisations for the last 15 years.

“Everybody was very proud of her and the work she did, we’re still in a state of shock,” he said.

“Joanna was genuinely one of those people who you never heard a bad word about.”

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Jonathan Druion

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The Boeing 737 Max-8 aircraft that crashed on Sunday

Ethiopian Airlines said it had contacted the families of all the victims, who came from 35 nations – including 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians and eight Americans.

The cause of the disaster is not yet known. However, the pilot had reported difficulties and had asked to return to Addis Ababa, the airline said.

Another plane of the same model was involved in a crash less than five months ago, when a Lion Air flight crashed into the sea near Indonesia with nearly 190 people on board.

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