Ethiopian plane crashes with 157 on board
Ethiopian Airplane takes-off at Juba International Airport on the 4th March 2019
(photo: Woja Emmanuel)
By Woja Emmanuel Wani
An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 crashed en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi killing all the 149 passengers and eight crew members on board, Ethiopian Airlines said.
The aircraft B-737-800 MAX with a registration number ET-AVJ took off at 8:44 am according to a statement from the Ethiopian Airlines office.
The Airlines office said 149 passengers and eight crew members were believed to be on flight ET 302 from the Ethiopian capital to Nairobi in Kenya.
It said 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, eight Americans and seven British nationals were among the passengers.
The crash happened at 08:44 local time, six minutes after the months-old Boeing 737 Max-8 took off.
In an earlier statement, the airline said that search and rescue operations were under way near the crash site around the town of Bishoftu, which is 60 km (37 miles) south-east of the capital.
“Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency services,” the statement added.
It is not yet clear what caused the accident.
China’s state media confirmed yesterday evening that eight of the passengers were Chinese.
The 737 Max-8 aircraft is relatively new to the skies, having been launched in 2016. It was added to the Ethiopian Airlines fleet in July last year.
Boeing said it was “deeply saddened” by the crash and offered to send a team to provide technical assistance.