Bishoftu, ETHIOPIA – Several are feared dead after an Ethiopian Airlines flight with 149 passengers and eight crew members on board crashed this morning south of Ethiopian Capital Addis Ababa, according to official reports.
The Boeing 737 was on a regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya from Addis Ababa when it took off at 8:38 am local time, but lost contact at 8:44 am.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed confirmed there were deaths but did not give a specific number.
He tweeted: “The Office of the PM, on behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express its deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on the Nairobi bound flight this morning.”
The cause of the crash of flight ET302 is still unknown at a large as investigations take course.
A spokesperson from Ethiopian Airlines released a statement saying the airline lost contact with Bole International Airport six minutes after takeoff before crashing 60 kilometres South-east of the airport.
“With Search and rescue operations underway, there is no information about survivors or possible casualties.” read an official statement.
The statement reads: “Ethiopian Airlines regrets to confirm that its flight ET 302/10 March in schedule service from Addis Ababa to Nairobi was involved in an accident today around Bishoftu (Debre Zeit).
“The aircraft B-737-800MAX with registration number ET- AVJ took off at 08:38 am local time from Addis Ababa, Bole International Airport and lost contact at 08:44 am.
“At this time search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible causalities. Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency services.
“It is believed that there were 149 passengers and 8 crew onboard the flight but we are currently confirming the details of the passenger manifest for the flight.
More details to follow as the story develops