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Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes killing 157 onboard

People walk past a part of the wreckage at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 10, 2019. Photo credit: REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes killing 157 onboard

Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes killing 157 onboard

All 157 passengers and crew onboard a brand new aircraft – Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302 – were killed as the plane crashes shortly after takeoff.

A jetliner carrying 157 people crashed shortly after takeoff from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, yesterday, killing everyone aboard, authorities said. At least 35 nationalities are among the dead.

It is not clear what caused the Ethiopian Airlines plane to go down in clear weather on its way to Nairobi, the capital of neighboring Kenya. The Associated Press reports that the accident was strikingly similar to last year’s crash of a Lion Air jet that plunged into the Java Sea, killing 189 people. Both crashes involved the Boeing 737 Max 8, and both happened minutes after the jets became airborne.

There are concerns that a number of humanitarian aid workers and delegates to the UN Environment Assembly, which starts in Nairobi on Monday, may have been on the flight.

According to The Guardiun, the pilot said he was experiencing technical problems and asked to return to the airport. The control tower lost contact with the aircraft at 8.44am. The wreckage was later discovered near the town of Bishoftu, 62km south-east of the Ethiopian capital.

“The group CEO who is at the scene right now deeply regrets to confirm there are no survivors,” the airline tweeted alongside a picture of Tewolde GebreMariam in a suit holding a piece of debris inside a large crater.

As families around the world grieved, a mother at Addis Ababa airport, called her son’s mobile number in vain. “Where are you, my son?” she said, in tears according to Associated Press.

Meanwhile, at the crash site, the impact caused the plane to shatter into small pieces. Personal belongings and aircraft parts were strewn across the freshly churned earth. Bulldozers dug into the crater to pull out buried pieces of the jet.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Red Cross teams and others searched for human remains. In one photo, teams could be seen loading black plastic bags into trucks.

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