Ethiopian Airlines has confirmed that flight ET3 302, a Boeing 737 MAX8 which took off from Addis Ababa at 08.38am local time, lost contact with air traffic controllers six minutes later, crashing near Bishoftu and killing all 149 passengers and eight crew members on board. The aircraft, which was en route to Nairobi, Kenya, had been acquired by the flag-carrying airline in November last year and had flown only 1,200 hours.
While no immediate reason has been given for the accident, Ethiopian Airlines’ CEO Tewolde Gebremariam, confirmed that the pilot, who had been working for the carrier since 2010, sent out a distress call shortly after take-off and was given clearance to return. Ethiopian state media said more than 30 nationalities were on board flight ET 302. They included 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, eight each from China, the United States and Italy; seven each from France and Britain; six from Egypt; four each from India and Slovakia, among others.
The Boeing 737-8 MAX is the same type of plane as the Indonesian Lion Air jet that crashed last October, 13 minutes after the take-off from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board. The last major accident involving an Ethiopian Airlines passenger plane was a Boeing 737-800 that exploded after taking off from the Lebanon in 2010, killing 83 passengers and seven crew members.Email Post to a Friend