An Ethiopian Airlines flight with 157 people believed to be on board crashed in eastern Africa on Sunday morning. Ethiopia’s state broadcaster said there are no survivors, the Associated Press reported.
Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane six minutes after it took off at 8:38 a.m. local time from Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The plane was en route to Nairobi, Kenya.
“At this time search and rescue operations are in progress,” the airline said in a statement. “It is believed that there were 149 passengers and eight crew on board the flight but we are currently confirming the details of the passenger manifest for the flight.”
The Office of the PM, on behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express it’s 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.
— Office of the Prime Minister – Ethiopia (@PMEthiopia) March 10, 2019
“Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency services.”
It said 149 passengers and eight crew members were believed to be on flight ET302 from the Ethiopian capital to Nairobi in Kenya.
The airline added that there were 33 different nationalities on board.
The crash happened at 08.44 local time, six minutes after the months-old Boeing 737 Max-8 took off.
It is not yet clear what caused the accident.
An eyewitness at the scene told the BBC there was an intense fire as the aircraft hit the ground.
“The blast and the fire were so strong that we couldn’t get near it,” he said. “Everything is burnt down. There are four helicopters at the scene now.”
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 60km (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.
An Ethiopian Airlines plane en route to Nairobi has gone down with 149 passengers and 8 crew onboard, the airline said.
The Boeing 737 is believed to have crashed six minutes after take off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital.#Emergency #EthiopianAirlines #ET302 pic.twitter.com/grCed1i32E
— Emil Nivantha Perera (@emilnivantha) March 10, 2019
oeing, the company that built the aeroplane, said in a tweet that it was “closely monitoring the situation”.
Its 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.
Another plane of the same model was involved in a crash five months ago, when a Lion Air flight crashed into the sea near Indonesia with nearly 190 people on board.
#UPDATE 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, 9 Ethiopians, 8 Chinese, 8 Americans, 8 Italians, 7 French, 7 British and 6 Egyptians are among the 157 dead in the #EthiopianAirlines crash. (via @rakidi) pic.twitter.com/igKWqgqHOW
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) March 10, 2019