Tuesday 20 February 2018

Couple expecting first baby died in one another's arms

Jonathan Pearlman Sydney and Rosa Silverman London

A PRIZE-winning British-Australian architect and his pregnant partner were gunned down side by side in the Nairobi shopping mall massacre just weeks before she was due to give birth to their first baby.

Ross Langdon (33) and Elif Yavuz, a Harvard-educated Dutchwoman, were killed as they stood in a cafe in the Westgate shopping centre in the Kenyan capital. They were found lying together, Ross's arm shielding his pregnant partner.

The couple were based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and had travelled to Nairobi to take advantage of its better health care. Friends said the parents-to-be were "so happy" and in love, and had dedicated their lives to helping to create a peaceful world.

Born and brought up in south-eastern Tasmania, Mr Langdon had worked in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and elsewhere in Africa.

In Kenya he had designed a HIV-Aids hospital without charging a fee. He was a founding director of Regional Associates, an architects' firm with offices in London and Melbourne.

The couple met in Kampala, Uganda, where Ms Yavuz, a specialist in malaria with a doctorate, was working for the World Bank.

In a message on Facebook last night, the architect's mother, Linden Langdon, said the loss of her "beautiful son", "his lovely partner" and their "much-loved baby just two weeks away from birth" was "immeasurable, absurd and excruciating".

Other victims included Peruvian Juan Ortiz-Iruri, a retired tropical disease specialist for UNICEF; Kofi Awoonor, a Ghanaian poet and professor; and Ruhila Adatia-Sood, whose husband was a foreign worker for the US Agency for International Development in Nairobi.

The nephew of Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta's and the nephew's fiancee are among the dead, as are two Indians, 8-year-old Parmashu Jain and 40-year-old Sridhar Natarajan.

Two Canadians, including a diplomat, died in the attack, while at least three other UK nationals are also known to have been killed. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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