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Toronto man who lost family in Ethiopian plane crash testifies at U.S. Congress

Wreckage lies at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed shortly after takeoff at Hejere near Bishoftu, south of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia, on March 10, 2019. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Toronto man who lost his family in the crash of a Boeing 737 Max jet in Ethiopia has told a U.S. congressional panel that the aviation company should not allow that aircraft model to fly again.

Paul Njoroge says the Max — which is currently grounded — has a design flaw and will lead to more deaths if it takes to the skies in the future.

The Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed on March 10 near Addis Ababa, killing 157 people on board.

Njoroge says he can’t stop thinking about the final moments of his wife, three young kids and mother-in-law as the plane went down shortly after takeoff.

His wife, son and daughters — six-year-old Ryan, four-year-old Kelli and nine-month-old Rubi — and his wife’s mother were on their way to visit family in Kenya.

The March crash came five months after a fatal crash off the coast of Indonesia involving another Boeing 737 Max.

Njoroge was one of the first family members of the 346 passengers in the two crashes to testify before Congress.

He said he’s asking for the process to approve aircraft to be strengthened. He also says Boeing’s top executives should resign and face criminal charges over the Ethiopian crash.

Boeing created a flight-control software to address the Max’s risk of having an aerodynamic stall, but preliminary reports from the Ethiopia crash show that the software pushed the nose of the plane down in both crashes.

Boeing did not tell pilots about the software until after the first crash in October.

With files from the Associated Press