There were no survivors from an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed with 149 passengers and eight crew members aboard, the state broadcaster said on Sunday.
“There are no survivors onboard the flight, which carried passengers from 33 countries,” said state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation, quoting an unidentified source at the airline.
Flight ET 302 crashed near the town of Bishoftu, 62 kilometers southeast of the capital Addis Ababa, the airline said, confirming the plane was a Boeing 737-800 MAX.
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
“It is confirmed it happened 8.44 (am),” said the spokesman who did not give his name. The prime minister’s office sent condolences via Twitter to the families of those lost in the crash.
According to an AFP report, the airline said “search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible casualties.” The plane took off at 8:38 am (0638 GMT) from Bole International Airport and “lost contact” six minutes later.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office tweeted it “would like to express its 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.”
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 center and a dedicated telephone number for family and friends of people who may have been on the flight.
The Boeing 737-800MAX is the same type of plane as the Indonesian Lion Air jet that crashed last October, 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people onboard.
The last major accident involving an Ethiopian Airlines passenger plane was a Boeing 737-800 that exploded after taking off from Lebanon in 2010, killing 83 passengers and seven crew members.
Additional data from Flightradar24 ADS-B network show that vertical speed was unstable after take off.— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) March 10, 2019
Take off 05:38:18 UTC
Last position received by FR24 at 05:41:02 UTC
Please note that Addis Ababa airport is located at 7,625 feet AMSL. pic.twitter.com/Uyvfp1x9Xb
The Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 passenger jet to Nairobi “had unstable vertical speed”, Swedish flight-tracking website flightradar24 said.
“Data from Flightradar24 ADS-B network show that vertical speed was unstable after take off,” the Swedish-based flight tracking organization said on its Twitter feed.
(With AFP inputs)