Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

With Arab Nationalities Among 157 Victims of Ethiopian Airlines Crash

With Arab Nationalities Among 157 Victims of Ethiopian Airlines Crash

Flight ET 302, registration number ET-AVJ, crashed near the town of Bishoftu, 62 km (38 miles) southeast of the capital Addis Ababa, with 149 passengers and eight crew aboard, the airline said.

The Boeing 737 flight, which was headed to Nairobi, crashed a few minutes after it took off from Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa.

The airline said that all 157 people from more than 30 countries on board have been killed, which included six Egyptians whose names still remain unidentified. The plane's vertical speed (seen in the diagram, centre) varied between 2,624 feet per minute and minus 1,216, a pattern which flight experts said was highly unusual during one of the "most critical phases of flight".

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told reporters at a press conference that the pilot of flight ET 302 that crashed Sunday morning had reported technical difficulties and asked for clearance to return to Addis Ababa.

"At this time search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible causalities", Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement. Both Addis Ababa and Nairobi are major hubs for humanitarian workers, and many people were on their way to a large United Nations environmental conference set to begin Monday in Nairobi.

The crash is likely to renew questions about the 737 Max, the newest version of Boeing's popular single-aisle airliner, which was first introduced in 1967 and has become the world's most common passenger jet.

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. A Boeing 737 800 MAX crashed on Sunday, the airline said.

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