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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”

Ethiopian is one of the biggest carriers on the continent by fleet size.

"Ethiopian Airlines is one of the safest airlines in the world. At this stage we can not rule out anything", CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told reporters.

Crash debris appeared to be spread across a large flat plain. As the sun set, the airline's chief operating officer said the plane's flight data recorder had not yet been found.

Both Addis Ababa and Nairobi are major hubs for humanitarian workers, and some had been on their way to a large United Nations environmental conference set to begin Monday in Nairobi. Kenya lost 32 citizens.

The airline said that all 157 people from more than 30 countries on board have been killed, which included six Egyptians whose names still remain unidentified.

At the Nairobi airport, hopes quickly dimmed for loved ones. "She's not picking up her phone", said Wendy Otieno, clutching her phone and weeping.

The Max mock-up is the newest version of Boeing's workhorse 737 models, the world's most popular commercial aircraft.

"Some of them, as you know, they are very distressed", he said.

Safety experts cautioned against drawing too many comparisons between the two crashes until more is known about Sunday's disaster.

Image from BBC shoot-edit of the crash scene of the Ethiopian Airlines flight
Image caption The crash site is around 60km south-east of the Ethiopian capital

The statement added that search and rescue operations are in progress.

The Ethiopian plane was new, delivered to the airline in November.

GebreMariam also confirmed the company owns 6 other 737 Max 8 aircraft which are in service. The jet's last maintenance was on February 4, and it had flown just 1,200 hours.

The Boeing 737 flight, which was headed to Nairobi, crashed a few minutes after it took off from Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa.

The senior Ethiopian Airlines pilot had flown more than 8,000 hours.

A preliminary report into the October crash focused on airline maintenance and training and technical questions about the response of a Boeing anti-stall system to a recently replaced sensor.

An Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet traveling from Addis Ababa to Nairobi crashed early on Sunday with 149 passengers and eight crew members aboard.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted confirming deaths but did not give a number.

The plane crashed near Bishoftu city, about 45 km southeast of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, the ET said in a statement.



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