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Ethiopian Airlines Flight Crashes With More Than 150 On Board

15 March, 2019, 06:26 | Author: Taylor George
  • Ethiopian Airlines flight to Nairobi crashes with 157 people on board

A spokesman for the airline confirmed the plane had crashed while heading from Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia and China have grounded fleets of Boeing 737 MAX 8 after the crash.

An Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet bound for Nairobi crashed minutes after take-off on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board and raising questions about the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX 8, a new model that also crashed in Indonesia in October.

The Max mock-up is the newest version of Boeing's workhorse 737 models, the world's most popular commercial aircraft. An airline spokesperson told CNN the victims were of 32 different nationalities.

Swedish flight tracker flightradar24.com said on its Twitter account that: "Additional data from Flightradar24 ADS-B network show that vertical speed was unstable after take off".

Safety experts cautioned against drawing too many comparisons between the two crashes until more is known.

The plane was delivered to Ethiopian Airlines in November.

The plane was on a regularly scheduled flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi when it took a nose dive near Bishoftu, a town about 37 miles southeast of Addis Ababa.

The aviation authority will contact the US Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing, it said.

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A statement from Ethiopian Airlines indicates the flight had 149 passengers on board as well as eight crew members.

"No, we haven't seen anyone from the airline or the airport", he told Reuters at 1pm, more than three hours after the flight was lost.

The jet's last maintenance was on February 4, and it had flown just 1,200 hours. "A Boeing technical team is prepared to provide technical assistance at the request and under the direction of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board", the manufacturer added in a statement.

In December 2018, CNBC expected Africa to remain the weakest airline region in the world for 2019, where it has been ranked for the past four years.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted confirming deaths but did not give a number.

The last major accident involving an Ethiopian Airlines passenger plane was in January 2010, when a flight from Beirut went down, killing 83 passengers and seven crew.

The crash comes as Ethiopian has been snapping up stakes in small carriers around the continent to pre-empt potential rivals and become the dominant pan-African airline.

Speaking at the inauguration, the prime minister challenged the airline to build a new "Airport City" terminal in Bishoftu - where Sunday's crash occurred.

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