Ethiopian plane crash: No survivors among 157 on board

Published: March 10, 2019 16:51:22 | Updated: March 13, 2019 14:39:39

-Reuters file photo

All 149 passengers and eight crew members on board an Ethiopian Airlines plane, which crashed on Sunday, have died in the tragedy.

The Flight ET302 came down six minutes after it took off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital city. It was en-route to Nairobi, reports mirror.co.uk quoting Ethiopian state news agency.

The flight lost contact six minutes after it set off at 8.38am  local time (05:38). It had been expected to arrive in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, in just over two hours.

The plane was a Boeing 737 800 Max - the same model as the Lion Air plane crash tragedy in Indonesia which killed 189.

Boeing are reported to be 'monitoring' the situation in Ethiopia. There were reportedly 33 nationalities on board.

According to AP, there were no immediate details on what caused the crash of the Boeing 737-8 MAX plane, which was new and had been delivered to the airline in November.

The state-owned Ethiopian Airlines, widely considered the best-managed airline in Africa, calls itself Africa’s largest carrier and has ambitions of becoming the gateway to the continent.

First word of the crash came when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed expressed his "deepest condolences" on Twitter, reports the BBC.

In a statement, the airline said that search and rescue operations were under way near the crash site around the town of Bishoftu.

It did not provide details on the number of casualties.

"Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency services," the statement added.

The airline flies to many destinations in Africa, making it a popular carrier in a continent where many airlines fly only from their home country to destinations outside Africa.

It has a good reputation for safety, although in 2010 one of the company's aeroplanes crashed in the Mediterranean Sea shortly after leaving Beirut.

The incident killed 90 people on board.

The airline's highest fatalities to date came in a November 1996 crash during a hijacking on a flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi.

One of the aeroplane's engines stopped when the fuel ran out and although pilots attempted an emergency water landing, they hit a coral reef in the Indian Ocean and 123 of the 175 people on board were killed.

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