It’s sad news for the world as an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 crashed on the morning of Sunday, 10th March 2019 on its way from Addis Ababa to Nairobi. The crash killed all 157 people on board.
Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest carrier, has given a statement confirming a report by Ethiopia’s FANA Broadcasting Corp that there were no survivors.
“It is believed that there were 149 passengers and eight crew on board the flight,” it said.
Although the airline is yet to provide information on passengers’ nationalities, there are reports that people from 33 countries were on board.
The airline said the plane had taken off at 6:38 am (0538 GMT) from Bole International Airport and “lost contact” six minutes later near Bishoftu, a town some 60 kilometres (37 miles) southeast of Addis Ababa by road.
The brand new Boeing plane took off when the weather in the capital was clear and came down near the village of Tulu Fara outside Bishoftu.
At the crash site, there was a massive crater, with belongings and aeroplane parts scattered around. Rescue crews retrieved human remains from the wreckage, with Ethiopia’s civil aviation agency and police officers on the scene as well.
In the Kenyan capital, family members, friends, and colleagues of passengers were frantically waiting for news at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and hoping for the best at the time the plane was supposed to arrive.
Leaders across Africa have started sending in their condolences.
Speaking on Twitter, African Union commission chief Moussa Faki said, “Our prayers are with the families of the passengers + crew as authorities search for survivors. I also express our full solidarity with the [government and] people of Ethiopia.”
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was “saddened” by the news, said, “My prayers go to all the families and associates of those on board.”
The plane’s maker, US giant company Boeing, said it was “aware” of the accident “and is closely monitoring the situation.”
Ethiopian Airlines said it would send staff to the accident scene to “do everything possible to assist the emergency services.” It would also set up a passenger information centre and a dedicated telephone number for family and friends of people who may have been on the flight.