Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Flight to Nairobi Crashes

Ethiopian Airlines flight to Nairobi crashes with 157 people on board Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes on way to Kenya
Jeannette Daniel | 14 March, 2019, 05:08

"We are saddened by the news of an Ethiopian Airlines passenger aircraft that is reported to have crashed 6 minutes after takeoff en route to Kenya".

Eleven people with Arab nationalities were among the 157 victims of a Ethiopian Airlines crash close to the capital Addis Ababa. Both accidents involved the Boeing 737 Max 8.

At least 22 UN staff were on the flight, many headed for an annual assembly of the UN Environment Programme which opened under a dark cloud in Nairobi on Monday.

The aircraft, a 737 MAX 8, is the same model that crashed into the Java Sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta on Oct 29, killing all 189 people on board the Lion Air flight. "She's not picking up her phone", said Wendy Otieno, clutching her phone and weeping.

The plane likely had 149 passengers and eight crew members on board, the airline said, but said it was still confirming details.

Seven British nationals were on board as well as 18 Canadians and eight USA citizens.

More news: Bomb Cyclone Threatening More Than 70 Million People Across Central U.S.

The plane took off at 8:38 a.m. from Bole International Airport and "lost contact" six minutes later near Bishoftu, a town some 60 kilometers southeast of Addis Ababa by road, the company said.

State-owned Ethiopian is one of the biggest carriers on the continent by fleet size.

According to Swedish flight-tracking website flightradar24, the passenger jet "had unstable vertical speed" before it crashed.

Police and troops were on the scene, as well as a crash investigation team from Ethiopia's civil aviation agency.

"Its last major crash was in January 2010, when a flight from Beirut went down shortly after take-off", Reuters reports.

Boeing and joint venture partner Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) operate a plant in the eastern city of Zhoushan that completes the interiors of 737 MAX planes for Chinese airlines.

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