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Africa

Ethiopian Airlines confirms Boeing 737 from Addis to Nairobi crashed with 157 aboard

media Workers service an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 plane at the Bole International Airport in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa Reuters

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 crashed Sunday morning en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi with 149 passengers and eight crew believed to be on board, Ethiopian Airlines said, as Ethiopia's prime minister offered condolences to victims' families.

Updated 16:00 Paris:

A press conference held by Ethiopian Airlines at their headquarters in Addis Ababa revealed more information.

The company's CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, said the airline had purchased the new Boeing 737 MAX last year, which was delivered in November 2018.

The aircraft clocked 1200 hours and had just returned this morning from Johanesburg, flight ET 858, with "no remarks" regarding any issues said Gebremariam.

He added that the captain in command had been with Ethiopian Airlines since July 2010 and was a captain on the 737 since November 2017.

The senior pilot had more than 8000 hours of flying and had an excellent flying record with Ethiopian Airlines.

Nationalities of those aboad

Of the 149 people aboard, the CEO broke down the passengers and crew by nationalities:

 

Earlier on, the CEO had visited the crash site

Problems raised

This crash makes it the second one for this new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

Back in October, the Lion Air flight went down in the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board.

Following news of today's crash in Ethiopia, the Indonesian Ombudsman, Alvin Lie, who is also an aviation expert, has reportedly asked the Indonesian government to ground all Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft that are still operating in the country.

Edited 12:54 Paris:   Ethiopian Airlines has confirmed that there were no survivors among the 149 passengers and eight crew on board a Nairobi-bound Boeing 737 that crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa.

 "The group CEO who is at the accident scene right now regrets to confirm that there are no survivors," the company said in a statement confirming the death toll.

***

In a previous statement issued at 9:00am (Paris) the company said: "We hereby confirm that our scheduled flight ET 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi was involved in accident today."

Ethiopian Airlines statement March 10, 2019

"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 airline said "search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible casualties."

The plane took off at 8:38 am (0638 GMT) from Bole International Airport and "lost contact" six minutes later.

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 schedu.led flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning."

Boeing's reaction

Meanwhile, US aerospace giant Boeing said Sunday it was "deeply saddened" about the deaths..

 "Boeing is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 MAX 8 airplane," the company said in a statement.

 "A Boeing technical team is prepared to provide technical assistance at the request and under the direction of the US National Transportation Safety Board."

 

 
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