Ethiopian Airlines has offered relatives of the 157 victims of last Sunday’s Boeing 737 Max plane crash bags of sand to bury in place of their loved ones, reports say.
BBC reports that earth from the crash site was being made available for a planned service in Addis Ababa on Sunday.
Families mourning the victims are being offered a 1kilogram bag of “charred soil” to bury as part of Sunday’s service in the Ethiopian capital, according to AP.
Families have been reportedly told that it could take up to six months to identify remains.
Countries across the world grounded the 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft after in reaction to the flight 302 flight crash.
Dagmawit Moges, Ethiopia’s transport minister said on Saturday that it may take “considerable time” for investigators to find the cause of the crash involving the new aeroplane.
“An investigation of such magnitude requires a careful analysis and considerable time to come up with something concrete,” Dagmawit Moges told a press conference.
Relatives of the crash victims are being encouraged to provide DNA samples, either in Addis Ababa or at any overseas offices of Ethiopian Airlines.
Death certificates are expected to be issued in two weeks.
“The soil came as it became impossible to identify bodies and hand over remains to family members,” one family member reportedly said, adding: “We will not rest until we are given the real body or body parts of our loved ones.”
Passengers from more than 30 countries were on board the Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi.
The Ethiopian investigation into the crash is being assisted by teams from around the world, including the US and France.
The aircraft’s flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR), or black boxes as they are popularly called, have been recovered, to determine the cause of the crash.
Two Nigerians died in the crash, including Professor Pius Adesanmi.