UPDATE: Ethiopia’s state television has announced that all 149 passengers and eight crew members aboard the crashed Ethiopian Airlines flight are dead.
“There are no survivors onboard the flight, which carried passengers from 33 countries,” said state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation, citing an unidentified source at the airline, according to The Independent.
Asrat Begashaw, a spokesman for Ethiopian Airlines, was cited by The Associated Press as saying that 32 Kenyans and 17 Ethiopians are among the dead.
The cause of the crash is not immediately known.
— Karla Ray (@KRayWFTV) March 10, 2019
PREVIOUS: Ethiopian Airlines flight to Nairobi crashed on Sunday, March 10, with 149 passengers and eight crew members aboard, according to the air carrier.
The Boeing 737 passenger jet was heading from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi.
Flight ET302 departed Addis Ababa Bole International Airport at 8.38 a.m. local time, crashing shortly after take-off.
“The aircraft B-737-800MAX with registration number ET-AVJ took off at 8:38 a.m. local time from Addis Ababa, Bole International Airport and lost contact at 8:44 a.m.,” the airline said in a statement.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed expressed his “deepest condolences” on Twitter.
“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 that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning.”
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.
— Office of the Prime Minister – Ethiopia (@PMEthiopia) March 10, 2019
The airline said in the statement that search and rescue operations were underway near the crash site around the town of Bishoftu.
No information was given on the number of casualties, but the airline said, “it is believed that there were 149 passengers and 8 crew onboard the flight.” Officials added that the details of the flight manifest were being reviewed and that more information would be released when available.
“Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency services,” the statement added.
The state-owned Ethiopian Airlines calls itself Africa’s largest carrier and has ambitions of becoming the gateway to the continent.