Ethiopians, Americans, Canadians, Kenyans and Chinese among dead as Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes

An Ethiopian Airlines plane en route to Nairobi, Kenya has crashed 6 minutes after taking off from Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. None of the 157 people on board has survived, the airline said.

Ethiopian state media said more than 30 nationalities were on board flight ET 302 including  32 Kenyans and nine Ethiopians, 18 Canadians; eight each from China, the United States and Italy; seven each from France and Britain; six from Egypt; five from the Netherlands and four each from India and Slovakia. Spain’s foreign ministry said two Spanish nationals were on the passenger list.

Ethiopian Airlines is Africa’s most successful airline flying to 190 destinations with one of the most modern fleet in the world. The crashed plane was a Boeing 737 Max acquired brand new from Boeing only a four months ago.

ethiopain airlines crashGroup CEO Tewolde GebreMariam “deeply regrets the fatal accident,” the airline said on its Twitter account.

The group CEO, who had travelled to the scene of the crash, expressed his “profound sympathy and condolences” to the families of all victims, the statement read.

The tweet by Ethiopian Airlines was accompanied by a picture of GebreMariam lifting what appeared to be a piece of the plane debris at the bottom of a large crater in an empty field.

Little of the plane can be seen in the freshly churned earth.

Ethiopian Airlines later published a photo on Twitter showing him standing in the wreckage, lifting what appeared to be a piece of the plane debris at the bottom of a large crater in an empty field. Little of the aircraft could be seen in the freshly-churned soil.

The CEO “expresses his profound sympathy and condolences to the families and loved ones of passengers and crew who lost their lives in this tragic accident,” the post said.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office tweeted it “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.”

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta offered prayers for the family members and loved ones of those on the flight.
“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,” Kenyatta said on Twitter.

Al Jazeera’s Catherine Soi, reporting from Nairobi airport, said an “information and service desk has been set up for the relatives looking for information”.
The Boeing 737-8 MAX is the same type of plane as the Indonesian Lion Air jet that crashed last October, 13 minutes after the takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.

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