An Ethiopian Airlines plane en route to Nairobi has gone down with 149 passengers and 8 crew onboard, the airline said.
The Boeing 737 is believed to have crashed six minutes after take off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, according to local reports.
It went down after around 30 miles in the air.
There are currently no confirmed details on any fatalities but the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed offered condolences to the families of those who had been lost.
The airline said the plane was a Boeing 737 800 Max, the same model aircraft involved in the Indonesian Lion Air crash in October in which the plane plunged into the sea shortly after take off, with 190 people killed.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister’s official Twitter account has expressed condolences to families of those lost.
The PM’s office wrote on Twitter: “The office of the PM, on behalf of
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
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. My prayers go to all the families and associates of those on board.
Some flights out of Addis Ababa were delayed or cancelled on Sunday morning, it has been reported.
Ethiopian Airlines announced the acquisition of the brand new Max aircraft in July.
The Max model is the newest version of Boeing’s workhorse 737 model, the world’s most popular commercial airline.
This model plan lacks a common override feature that allows pilots to reliably pull planes out of nose dives, reports the Washington Post.
A statement from Ethiopian Airlines said: “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 took off at 8.38am from Addis Ababa, Bole International Airport and lost contact at 8.44am.
“At this time search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible casualties.
“Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency services.”