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Thursday, June 13, 2024

‘No survivors’ after Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes with 157 people on board

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Latest: All passengers on the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa are dead, according to Ethiopia’s state broadcaster.

The airline has said 157 people were thought to be on board the flight to Nairobi in Kenya.

Broadcaster EBC said the passengers included 33 nationalities.

The cause of the crash of the new Boeing 737-8 MAX plane was not immediately known.

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

The crash occurred around 31 miles south of the capital, shortly after taking off, the airline said.

A statement by the Ethiopian prime minister’s office offered its “deepest condolences” to families.

The last deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airlines passenger plane was in 2010, when the plane crashed minutes after take-off from Beirut, killing all 90 people on board.

Today’s crash comes as the country’s reformist prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has vowed to open up the airline and other sectors to foreign investment in a major transformation of the state-centred economy.

Ethiopian Airlines has been expanding assertively, recently opening a route to Moscow and in January inaugurating a new passenger terminal in Addis Ababa to triple capacity.

Speaking at the inauguration, the prime minister challenged the airline to build a new “Airport City” terminal in Bishoftu – where Sunday’s crash occurred.

Records show that the Ethiopian Airlines passenger plane that crashed was a new one.

The Planespotters civil aviation database shows that the plane was delivered to the airline in mid-November.

“My prayers go to all the families and associates of those on board,” said Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta.

Earlier: Ethiopian Airlines flight crashes en route to Nairobi with 157 people on board

An Ethiopian Airlines flight has crashed on its way to Nairobi, with deaths being reported, the Ethiopian prime minister’s office said.

It is understood that there were 149 passengers and 8 crew on board the flight.

The flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi was involved in “an accident” around Bishoftu today, a spokesperson for Ethiopian Airlines said.

The aircraft took off at 08:38am local time from Addis Ababa, Bole International Airport and lost contact at 08:44am.

Search and rescue operations are in progress the airline could not confirm any information about survivors or any possible causalities.

 


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