Ethiopian Airlines plane with 157 people on board crashes minutes after take-off

Ethiopian Airlines plane with 157 people on board crashes minutes after take-off

The prime minister's office sent condolences via Twitter to the families of those lost in the crash, without offering further details.

The aircraft involved in the incident is the same model as the Boeing 737 Max 8 that was involved in the Lion Air disaster earlier this year. Following the tragedy, Ethiopian Airlines announced that it will temporarily ground its fleet of four 737 MAX 8 planes as a "safety precaution".

Air traffic control lost contact with the Boeing 737-800MAX six minutes after taking off from Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, according to Ethiopian airlines.

"It is confirmed it happened 8.44am (local time)", the spokesman said.

Ethiopian Airlines identified the flight number as ET 302/10 and said the crash took place around Bishoftu, formerly known as Debre-Zeit.

China's aviation regulator on Monday grounded almost 100 Boeing Co 737 MAX 8 aircraft operated by its airlines, more than a quarter of the global fleet of the jets, after a deadly crash of one of the planes in Ethiopia.

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Ethiopian Airlines, at a press conference on Sunday, said the victims included 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, eight Americans, and others from China, Italy, France Britain, Egypt, theNetherlands and other countries.

"At this time search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible casualties".

AU Envoy Raila Odinga said, "My deeply felt condolences to the people of Ethiopia following the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines plane".

While the aircraft was relatively new, a Lion Air plane of the same model was involved in a crash about five months ago, crashing into the sea near Indonesia with nearly 190 on board.

Gebremariam visited the scene shortly after the crash, as the airline shared a photo to social media of him standing amid the rubble.

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