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Emotional story of girl whose mother perished in Ethiopian Airlines plane

She learnt news of the crash as she waited at JKIA

Red Cross officials recover bodies form the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines ET 302 plane crash (Twitter)

The Standard has highlighted the emotional story of Gloria Wangari whose mother perished in the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines ET 302 crash on Sunday.

Gloria, 11, together with her father Peter Kimani had been waiting at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) Terminal 1A for Ms Florence Wangari to arrive as she had promised at 10 a. m.

Peter and his daughter had not seen Florence in about one and a half years and had traveled from Kisumu to be reunited with her as she arrived from D. R. Congo.


"I didn't even know there was a plane crash. It was my daughter who saw the news and informed me," Peter told reporters.

Florence Wangari was a missionary

Peter explained that her wife frequently traveled due to her profession as a missionary but she made trips home occasionally.

He also relayed that he had not communicated directly with his wife for over a week prior to her tragic demise.

"I had traveled to Moyale and the network was poor. I was mostly communicating with her through her sister, who informed me that Wangari was traveling from DRC to Nairobi via Addis Ababa.


"She has been away for nearly six years working as a missionary but she returns from time to time. However, it has been nearly a year and a half since her last visit," he narrated.

Florence's family was not certain that she was aboard the 302 flight for a while and kept hope alive that she might have boarded the 304 flight that was scheduled to arrive at 1:30 p. m.

"She told us she would arrive at 10 a. m. on Sunday morning but didn't tell us the flight number so we are assuming she is on the next flight from Addis Ababa," Peter had told reporters before the 304 flight arrived at 4 p. m.

"The way is clear now. All passengers who landed have passed through. Wangari was not among them. I think now we just have to accept that she was on the other flight," he resigned.


A dispatch from Ethiopian Airlines named Florence among the 32 Kenyan passengers who perished.

The Airline has also confirmed that all 149 passengers and 8 cabin crew who were on the flight died.

UPDATE: March 12, 2019:

A day after this story was published, the family of Sister Florence Wangari Yongi clarified that the deceased was not the mother of the child in the picture, neither is Peter Kimani her husband.

According to the family, Peter is a taxi driver who was hired to ferry the family from Nakuru to the JKIA. The child pictured with him was also said to be Florence's niece.


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