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Ethiopian Airline Flight Crashes, Killing 157


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.

An Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa crashed shortly after takeoff Sunday morning, killing all 157 people onboard.

The state-run Ethiopia Broadcasting Corporation said the flight that went down near the city of Bishoftu carried passengers from 33 countries.

The airline said the flight lost contact with Bole International Airport just six minutes after it took off Sunday morning at 8:38 am local time.

FILE - Workers service an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane at the Bole International Airport in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Jan. 26, 2017.
FILE - Workers service an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane at the Bole International Airport in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Jan. 26, 2017.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a Twitter statement: "The Office of the PM, on behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express it’s 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."


The Boeing 737- MAX 8 was a new jet, delivered to the airline in November, according to the Planespotters civil aviation database.

Family members of victims react at Addis Ababa international airport Sunday, March 10, 2019.
Family members of victims react at Addis Ababa international airport Sunday, March 10, 2019.

Boeing issued a one-line statement Sunday, saying "Boeing is aware of reports of an airplane accident and is closely monitoring the situation."

Flightradar 24 posted on Twitter that the "vertical speed" of the Ethiopian aircraft "was unstable after take off."

The Boeing 737- MAX 8 is the same model that took off in October from Jakarta and crashed into the Java Sea a few minutes later, killing all 189 people onboard a Lion Air flight.

Investigators with Indonesia's National Transport Safety Committee issued a preliminary report last November, that based on information gained from the flight data recorder, the plane's automatic safety system repeatedly pushed the plane's nose downward, despite the pilots' desperate attempts to maintain control. They believed the automated system that prevents the plane from stalling if it flies too high on Boeing's new version of its legendary passenger jet received faulty information from sensors on the fuselage.

The plane had a similar problem on a flight from the resort island of Bali to Jakarta the night before the fatal crash. The investigators said the plane was not airworthy and should have been grounded after that flight.

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