Seven Britons among 157 killed in Ethiopian Airlines plane crash
On board an aircraft flying from Addis Ababa – Nairobi with passengers from 33 countries
An Ethiopian Airlines plane taking off from Addis Ababa crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday morning. All 157 people on board were killed.
The Ethiopian State Broadcasting Corporation said there were passengers from 33 countries on board the plane that crashed near the city of Bischoft.
The dead include 32 Kenyan citizens, 18 Canadians, 9 Ethiopians and 8 Americans.
According to Russian media, there were three Russian citizens among them..
Several UN personnel were on board.
«The UN Secretary General deeply mourns the tragic loss of life in today’s plane crash near Addis Ababa», – said the spokesman for the head of the United Nations Stéphane Dujarrick.
«He (António Guterres) expresses his sincere sympathy and solidarity with the families and friends of the victims, including UN staff and – deep condolences to the government and people of Ethiopia», – said in a statement.
The airline said the plane lost contact with Bole International Airport six minutes after it took off the ground at 8:38 am local time..
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Twitter: «The Office of the Prime Minister, on behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia, would like to extend its deepest condolences to the families of the victims of Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 737 scheduled to fly to Nairobi, Kenya this morning.».
Reportedly, the US National Transportation Safety Board will send specialists to help investigate the causes of the disaster..
The Boeing 737-MAX 8 was the new aircraft delivered to the airline in November, according to the Planespotters civil aviation database..
«The plane was very new and the pilot – very experienced», – said Ethiopian Airlines spokesman Afat Begasho «Voice of America», adding that any attempts to explain the cause of the disaster so far are «just speculation».
The aircraft manufacturer issued a short statement saying: «Boeing received reports of aircraft incident and is closely monitoring the situation».
Flightradar 24 tweeted that «vertical speed» Ethiopian liner «after takeoff was unstable».
The aircraft is the same Boeing 737-MAX 8 as the Lion Air liner, which took off from Jakarta in October and crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board..
Investigators from the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report in November that said the aircraft’s automatic safety system repeatedly pushed the aircraft’s nose downward, according to the flight recorder, despite desperate attempts by the pilots to maintain control of the aircraft..
Investigators speculated that the automated system installed on the new version of the legendary Boeing passenger plane, which prevents the so-called stall of the plane if it flies too high, received incorrect information from sensors on the fuselage..
That plane faced a similar problem when it was flying from the resort island of Bali to Jakarta on the eve of the fatal disaster. Investigators said the plane was not suitable for a new flight and had to remain on the ground after that flight.