OTTAWA – March 18, 2019 – Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, issued the following statement announcing Canada’s support to victim identification efforts following the tragic aircraft accident involving an Ethiopian Airlines Flight.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, we wish to extend our most sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who perished in this tragic accident. Our thoughts continue to go out to each of the Canadian families, friends and communities affected by this awful accident.
The situation on the ground is fluid and may continue to evolve rapidly. Canada will remain ready to assist with the ongoing recovery efforts.
To this end, the Government of Canada, through the Government Operations Centre and Global Affairs Canada, is in constant contact with international and local officials to coordinate Canada’s contribution to these efforts, in support of Interpol’s call for assistance. At present, the RCMP has provided a team of three specialized personnel to assist with providing disaster victim identification support.
Four additional Canadian officials have been dispatched to Ethiopia to provide added capacity and expertise as well as support to affected families. Officials from the Embassy and from Global Affairs Canada’s Standing Rapid Deployment Team have been coordinating with local authorities in Addis Ababa. Officials have been supporting family members of Canadian victims who have travelled to Ethiopia, including by sharing updates on the situation, providing information about local contacts and services, and accompanying families to the site of the tragedy.
Canadian officials will continue to work closely with Ethiopian Airlines and local authorities on the gathering and sharing of information in real time with the families, including on questions relating to repatriation.
Friends and relatives in Canada who are in need of assistance should contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1-613-996-8885 or email [email protected].
On behalf of all Canadians, we are grateful to all nations who have heeded the international call for assistance, and commend the Canadians who will solemnly perform their duties in the aftermath of this terrible tragedy.”