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10th Mar 2019

‘Lost loved ones’: Ethiopian Airlines flight crashes with 149 passengers on board

Wayne Farry

The Boeing 737 was flying to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

An Ethiopian Airlines flight has crashed with 149 passengers and eight crew members on board, the country’s prime minister confirmed on Sunday.

In a tweet sent on Sunday morning, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed confirmed deaths upon the flight.

“The Office of the PM, on behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express it’s deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning,” the tweet said.

A statement from the airline on Sunday confirmed that the Boeing 737 crashed close to an area called Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, roughly 50 kilometres south of the capital Addis Ababa, shortly after taking off at 8.38am local time.

“Search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible casualties,” the statement continued.

BBC reports that despite a good overall safety record, this is the second time that an Ethiopian Airlines flight has crashed with fatalities during a flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi.

In November 1996, a flight between the Ethiopian and Kenyan capitals crash into a coral reef in the Indian Ocean, killing 123 of the 175 people on board.