BREAKING NEWS UPDATE – An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 plane flying from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya, carrying 157 people crashes this morning around Dobi area east of Bishoftu town in Oromia region of Ethiopia – 45 kilometers from the capital.
It is confirmed that all the passengers who were nationalities of 35 countries including eight crew members led by Ethiopian born, Kenyan Captain Yared Mulugeta have died, according to Ethiopian Airlines Public relations head who just spoke to the state broadcaster – ETV.
The plane lost communication with the flight controllers at Bole International Airport after six minutes of its departure. The Office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia and Deputy Prime Minister Demeke has expressed their condolences to those who lost their loved ones.
“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,” twitted the Prime Minister Office of Ethiopia.
Among the passengers 32 are Kenyans, followed by 18 Canadians and 9 Ethiopians. There were also 8 Chinese, 8 U.S. citizens and 8 Italians aboard, while France and UK had 7 nationals aboard the crashed plane. The remaining passengers aboard crashed ET 302 include, 6 Egyptians, 5 Germans, 4 Indians, 4 Slovaks, and Australia, Russia and Sweden had also 3 passengers each.
In its statement Ethiopia Airlines noted that Ethiopian Airlines is establishing a passenger information center and telephone number will be available shortly for family or friends of those who may have been on flight ET 302/10 March.
“Ethiopian Airlines regrets to confirm that its flight ET 302/10 March in schedule service from Addis Ababa to Nairobi was involved in an accident today around Bishoftu (Debre Zeit),” Ethiopian Airlines said, in its accident bulletin issued at 11 o’clock this morning.
“The aircraft B-737-800MAX with registration number ET- AVJ took off at 08:38 am local time from Addis Ababa, Bole International Airport and lost contact at 08:44am,” ET said.
“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,” twitted President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.
Ethiopian Airlines stated in its statement that it is believed that there were 149 passengers and 8 crew onboard the flight “but we are currently confirming the details of the passenger manifest for the flight.”
In over 70 years of its aviation history this is the second major crash since the 1996 Comoros hijacking tragedy that led to crash of its plane killing 125 of the 175 passengers.