An Ethiopian Airlines flight leaving the country’s capital and headed to Nairobi, Kenya crashed just six minutes after takeoff. All those on board have reportedly perished early Sunday morning. (March 10)
According to reports, there were 149 passengers and eight crew members on the Boeing 737-8 Max. The reportedly new plane had been delivered to the airline in November. The pilot was also seasoned and flew more than 8,000 hours and had captioned a 737 for a few months as well.
The eight crew members were Americans, while on board were 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, eight Chinese and eight Italians; seven each from France and Britain; six from Egypt; five from the Netherlands and four each from India and Slovakia. All were killed in the crash.
A photo of the company’s CEO standing among the wreckage was posted online. He later confirmed all on board lost their lives.
“[Mr. Tewolde Gebremariam] expresses his profound sympathy and condolences to the families and loved ones of passengers and crew who lost their lives in this tragic accident,” the post read.
An eyewitness said a fire broke moments after the plane crashed.”The blast and the fire were so strong that we couldn’t get near it,” he said. “Everything is burnt down. There are four helicopters at the scene now.”
The last fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines passenger plane took place in 2010. All 90 people on board to Beirut were killed.