The fiery crash of an Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet over the lands of Addis Ababa has claimed the lives of 149 passengers and eight crew members early today [March 10].
The crash reportedly occurred just six-minutes after take-off from the Addis Ababa airport, and the flight in question is an eight-month-old Boeing 737 Max.
The incident happened at 08:44 local time and the Kenya-bound flight had passengers from 33 different nationalities on board.
In a statement revealed to the media, the airline stated that search and rescue operations were under way near the crash site around the town of Bishoftu, which is 60kms from the south-east of the capital.
It added: “Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency services.”
The cause of crash is still under investigation.
Boeing, the makers of the flight, also stated that it was “deeply saddened” by the crash and has offered to provide ‘technical assistance’.
Ethiopian Airlines is one of the more popular carriers in the region with a “good” reputation for safety; albeit, in 2010, one of its flights crashed in the Mediterranean Sea shortly after leaving Beirut. The incident killed 90 people on board.