An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 crashed Sunday morning en route from Addis to Nairobi with 149 passengers and eight crew believed to be on board, Ethiopian Airlines said, with the prime minister offering condolences to victims’ families.
“We hereby confirm that our scheduled flight ET 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi was involved in accident today,” the airline said in a statement.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office tweeted it “would like to express its 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.”
According to a statement from the airline, the aircraft took off at 08:38 am local time from Addis Ababa, Bole International Airport but lost contact at 08:44am.
“At this time, search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or possible causalities.”
The Boeing 737-800MAX is the same type of plane as the Indonesian Lion Air jet that crashed last October, 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.
The last major accident involving an Ethiopian Airlines passenger plane was a Boeing 737-800 that exploded after taking off from Lebanon in 2010, killing 83 passengers and seven crew.