Paul Njoroge, the Kenyan man who lost his entire family the March crash of a Boeing 737 Max in Ethiopia, said he is empty and misses them “every minute of every day”.
Testifying before the US Congress, Njoroge said he “feels like he should have been on that plane with them”. He said he has “nightmares about how (his children) must have clung to their mother crying” during the doomed flight.
Njoroge lost his Canadian wife, three small children and his mother-in-law on Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a Boeing 737 Max 8 that crashed after takeoff killing all 157 people on board.
“I miss their laughter, their playfulness, their touch,” Njoroge read his written testimony.
“I am empty. I feel that I should have been on that plane with them. My life has no meaning. It is difficult for me to think of anything else but the horror they must have felt.”
He slammed the U.S manufacturer saying they never apologised personally, further dismissing Boeing’s efforts as publicity stunts.
“Boeing has never reached out to families about the impossible sorrow and grief we will carry for our entire lives. The airlines just sent letters of sympathy acknowledging their mistakes but didn’t send their apologies.
“The only time they offered their apologies was days leading to the Paris Air show which was a publicity stunt.”
Njoroge, who was born in Kenya and lives in Canada, added, “instead they have a press relations strategy to apologize to cameras and propose half-baked promises to give $100 million to local governments and nonprofit organizations.”
In his emotionally charged testimony, Njoroge disclosed that his wife, who was an accountant, and his mother-in-law – a retired teacher – knew they were going to die.
“I still think of their last 6 minutes leading to the crush and how my wife and mum in law knew they were going to die,” Njoroge said.
“On April 4, three weeks after the deaths of my family, in what I have since learned is a shameful pattern of behavior by Boeing and airplane manufacturers, Boeing shifted focus from the root cause of the crashes – the design flaws in the 737 Max and MCAS – and started talking about ‘foreign pilot error’.”
Njoroge observed if Boeing’s wrongful conduct continues, another similar accident will occur claiming more lives. “Boeing shouldn’t be allowed to hide information from the public and their pilots. They shouldn’t conceal any information.”
“If Boeing’s wrongful conduct continues, another plane will dive to the ground killing me or you or your children or other members of your family. It is you who must be the leaders in this fight for aviation safety in the world,” said Njoroge.
He also urged the House panel to question Boeing officials, engineers and whistleblowers.
In response tp Njoroge’s charges, Boeing said it is “deeply sorry for the impact to the families and loved ones of those on board.
“These incidents and the lives lost will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and on our minds for years to come. We are committed to working with the communities, customers and the aviation industry to help with the healing process.”