A Boeing 737 aircraft of the Ethiopian Airlines crashed minutes after departing from Addis Ababa on Sunday morning, Al Jazeera reported. All 157 people on board, including eight crew members, were killed, the airline said.
The aircraft had taken off from the Ethiopian capital at 8.38 am local time (11.08 am Indian time), but lost contact at 8.44 am near Bishoftu, 60 km southeast of Addis Ababa. The flight was going to Nairobi in Kenya.
Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Officer Tewolde Gebremariam said the pilot had reported difficulties and had asked for permission to return to Addis Ababa, BBC reported. “At this stage, we cannot rule out anything,” Gebremariam said. “We cannot also attribute the cause to anything because we will have to comply with the international regulation to wait for the investigation.”
The airline said it is coordinating with all the stakeholders to conduct forensic investigations to determine the cause of the crash and ascertain the identity of the victims.
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing tweeted that it was aware of the incident and was closely monitoring the situation.
People on board the aircraft were of 33 nationalities, the airline said, according to the BBC.
The aircraft was the same make as the one that crashed in Indonesia in October.