Investigations are underway after Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 crashed shortly after taking off. The plane was on its way to Nairobi from Addis Ababa when it crashed six minutes after takeoff early on Sunday. The cause has not yet been determined.
All 149 passengers and eight crew aboard the flight were killed when their Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed six minutes after taking off from the high-altitude capital of Ethiopia. The nation of 105 million people has long been proud of its state-owned airlines, its most successful company and the only profitable airline in sub-Saharan Africa.
Nine Ethiopians were killed in the crash, along with 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, and eight people each from China and Italy. A total of 35 nationalities were on board.
According to Ethiopian Airlines’ CEO Tewolde Gebremariam, the pilot, who had been working for the carrier since 2010, sent out a distress call shortly after take-off and was given clearance to return.
Tewolde, who visited the scene of the crash, also said that the “brand-new airplane” had flown 1,200 hours and had arrived from Johannesburg on Sunday morning.
The Boing 737 Max-8 aircraft is relatively new to the skies, having only been in commercial use since 2017.