Published On: Sun, Mar 10th, 2019

Ethiopian Airlines plane crash: Disaster on Kenya flight as 157 people die – No survivors


The Boeing 737 MAX was on a regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya from Addis Ababa when it took off at 8:38am local time, but disappeared off the radar at 8:44am.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed confirmed there were deaths.

He tweeted: “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.”

Unconfirmed reports suggest the flight ET302 “had unstable vertical speed” after take off.

Swedish-based flight tracking website flightradar24 tweeited: “Data from Flightradar24 ADS-B network show that vertical speed was unstable after take off.”

A spokesperson from Ethiopian Airlines released a statement saying the airline lost contact with Bole International Airport six mintues after take off before crashing 60 kilometres South-east of the airport. 

Search and rescue operations are underway and at there were people from 33 different nationalities on board.

The statement reads: “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).

“At this time search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible causalities. Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency services.

“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.

“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.”

The Foreign Office could not confirm if any passengers on the flight are British. 

“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.

The airline was due to land at Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 10:25am local time.

The doomed aeroplane made its first flight four months ago and began flying under the commerical airline in November 2018, according to the Aviation Safety Network.

Some flights out of Addis Ababa were delayed or cancelled this morning, it has been reported.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta tweeted his condolences to the families on board.

He wrote: “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.”

Ethiopia Airlines calls itself the largest air carrier in Africa and its last major crash was in January 2010, when a flight from Beirut went down shortly after take-off.

The crash killed 90 people on board after plunging into the Mediterranean Sea.

Their first fatal crash was the the hijack of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 in 1996. 

It is the second Boeing 737 MAX to crash in five months.

In October 2018, 189 people died on a Lion Air flight JT610.

The aircraft lifted off from Jakarta’s Soekarno–Hatta International Airport on October 29 last year, on a short haul journey to nearby Pangkal Pinang airport Depati Amir and crashed into the Java Sea.

THIS IS A BREAKING STORY.



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