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Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Flight to Nairobi Crashes

14 March, 2019, 09:43 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Red cross team work amid debris at the crash site of Ethiopia Airlines

"It is believed that there were 149 passengers and 8 crew onboard the flight but we are now confirming the details of the passenger manifest for the flight", Ethiopian Airlines said earlier on Sunday.

The airline said 149 passengers and eight crew members were thought to be on the plane.

Sunday's flight left Bole airport in Addis Ababa at 8:38 a.m. (0538 GMT), before losing contact with the control tower just a few minutes later at 8:44 a.m. Cockpit data indicated that the plane's airspeed indicator had malfunctioned on its previous four flights.

It accounts for the nationalities of 150 of the 157 people believed to have been on board.

The reason for the crash is not yet known.

"If there is a suspicion ... that there's not only something inherently wrong with 737 Max 8 aircraft, but there are no procedures in place to cure the problem, then yes, they should either ground the plane, or there are several levels of things they could do", Curtis said. Several countries lost more than five citizens.

The Addis Ababa-Nairobi route links East Africa's two largest economic powers. "The villagers said that it was a plane crash, and we rushed to the site".

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The crash shattered more than two years of relative calm in Africa, where travel had always been chaotic. Southwest Airlines flies 31 MAX 8 jets while American Airlines and Air Canada each have 24 in their fleet.

Ethiopian Airlines said it was organising search operations and setting up a passenger information centre. Sunburned travelers and tour groups crowd the Addis Ababa airport's waiting areas, along with businessmen from China, Gulf nations and elsewhere.

Ethiopian officials declared Monday a national day of mourning. It has flown more than 1,200 hours.

The flight had unstable vertical speed after take off, said flight tracking website Flightradar24 on its Twitter feed.

Sunday's crash comes as the country's reformist prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has vowed to open up the airline and other sectors to foreign investment in a major transformation of the state-centered economy.

Flight ET 302, registration number ET-AVJ, crashed near the town of Bishoftu, 62 kilometers southeast of the capital Addis Ababa, the airline said. Boeing sent condolences to the families and said it was ready to help investigate.

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