Voice of the Cape

From the news desk

Ethiopian Airlines: ‘No survivors’ on crashed Boeing 737

An Ethiopian Airlines jet has crashed shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa, killing all on board.

The airline said 149 passengers and eight crew members were on flight ET302 from the Ethiopian capital to Nairobi in Kenya.

It said 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, eight Americans and seven British nationals were among the passengers.

The crash happened at 08:44 local time, six minutes after the months-old Boeing 737 Max-8 took off.

Another plane of the same model was involved in a crash less than five months ago, when a Lion Air flight crashed into the sea near Indonesia with nearly 190 people on board.

The cause of the disaster is not yet clear. However, the pilot had reported difficulties and had asked to return to Addis Ababa, the airline said.

“At this stage, we cannot rule out anything,” Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told reporters at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa.

“We cannot also attribute the cause to anything because we will have to comply with the international regulation to wait for the investigation.”

Visibility was said to be good but air traffic monitor Flightradar24 reported that the plane’s “vertical speed was unstable after take-off”.

An eyewitness at the scene told the BBC there was an intense fire as the aircraft hit the ground.

“The blast and the fire were so strong that we couldn’t get near it,” he said. “Everything is burnt down.”

First word of the crash came when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed expressed his “deepest condolences” on Twitter.

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