Ethiopian B737-800MAX crash kills all on board
AN INVESTIGATION is underway after 149 passengers and eight crew members were killed whenan Ethiopian Airlines B737 bound for Kenya crashed shortly after taking off, writes Thelma Etim.
The B737-800MAX, registered ET- AVJ, departed at 08:38 local time on 10 March from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport but lost contact six minutes later at 08:44, the Ethiopian flag carrier reveals in an official corporate statement.
There were 35 different nationalities on board the aircraft, which came down around the town of Bishoftu (formerly known as Debre Zeit), located to the south east of Addis Ababa, confirms the airline.
The captain of flight ET 302 has been named as Yared Getachew who had flown more than 8,000 hours in his career as a pilot. His first officer Ahmed Nur Mohammod Nur had accrued 200 hours of flying experience.
‘Ethiopian Airlines will provide all the necessary support to the families of the victims’
During a special press conference held later in the afternoon, Tewolde GebreMariam, chief executive of the Ethiopian Airlines Group, who visited the crash site, reveals: “It is too early to speculate the cause of the accident and further investigation will be carried out to find out the cause of the accident in collaboration with all stakeholders, including the aircraft manufacturer Boeing, the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority and other international entities, to maintain the international standard and information will be provided once the cause is identified.
“Ethiopian Airlines will provide all the necessary support to the families of the victims,” he adds.
A third statement from the carrier reveals that the aircraft, which had flown back to Addis Ababa from Johannesburg in the morning ahead of its flight to Nairobi, “underwent a rigorous first check maintenance on February 4, 2019.”
“Ethiopian Airlines Group expresses its profound sorrow and deepest condolences to the families of the victims and their loved ones on the tragic plane accident,” it adds.
Earlier, Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia, had stated on his official Twitter account: “The office of the PM, on behalf of the government and the people of Ethiopia, would like to express its deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones on an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on a regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning.”
In an earlier statement from the carrier, GebreMariam, also “expressed his profound sympathy and condolences to the families and loved ones of passengers and crew who lost their lives in this tragic accident.”
Commenting on the tragic incident, American aircraft manufacturer Boeing, says it is “closely monitoring the situation”.
“Boeing is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 MAX 8 airplane. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team.”
“A Boeing technical team will be travelling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and the US National Transportation Safety Board,” adds the statement.
Below is a list, supplied by Ethiopian Airlines, of the nationalities of the passengers aboard the ill-fated aircraft: