Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302 crashed while going from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, killing all 157 people on board.
An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 carrying 149 members and 8 crew members crashed en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi. None of the 157 people on board survived the crash, the airline announced. The flight took off from Addis Ababa at 5:38GMT and lost contact with air traffic control only 6 minutes later. It crashed near Bishoftu, southeast of the Ethiopian capital.
The cause of the crash was not immediately made clear. The airplane had been delivered to the airline in November and was still relatively new. The pilot had been working with the airline since 2010, and did send out a distress call after take off and given permission to return.
The airline later published a photo on Twitter showing the CEO, Tewlde Gebremariam, visiting the scene of the crash. The account said that Gebremariam “expresses his profound sympathy and condolences to the families and loved ones of passengers and crew who lost their lives in this tragic accident”. In the attached photo, the CEO is holding up a piece of plane debris in an empty field.
Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed tweeted out that the government “would like to express its deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning.”
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta offered prayers for the family and loved ones of those on the flight. He wrote, “We are saddened by the news of an Ethiopian Airlines passenger aircraft that is reported to have crashed 6 minutes after takeoff en route to Kenya. My prayers go to all the families and associates of those on board.”
The Ethiopian media revealed that over 30 nationalities were aboard the doomed flight. They included 18 Canadians, 8 Chinese, 8 US nationals, 8 Italians, 7 French nationals, 7 Britons, 6 Egyptians, 5 Netherlands nationals, 4 Indians, 4 Slovakians, and 2 Spanish nationals.
The last major accident involving Ethiopian Airlines was in 2010.