Ethiopian Airlines Nairobi-bound Boeing 737 that crashed after an early-morning takeoff from Addis Ababa on Sunday, had four Indian travellers also. The crash killed all 149 passengers and eight crew on board. The four Indian nationals have been identified as Shikha Garg, Vaidya Pannagesh Bhaskar, Vaidya Hansin Annagesh and Nukavarapu Manisha.
Ethiopian Airlines said Kenya had the largest number of casualties with 32, followed by Canada with 18, Ethiopia with nine, then Italy, China, and the United States with eight each. Britain and France each had seven people on board, Egypt six, the Netherlands five and India four. People holding passports from 32 countries and the UN were on board the plane which ploughed into a field just 60 kilometres (37 miles) southeast of Addis Ababa, the carrier’s CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told journalists in the capital, lamenting this “very sad and tragic day.” Investigations are on to ascertain the cause of the crash.
State-owned Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest carrier, said the ill-fated Boeing 737-800MAX had taken off at 8:38 am (0538 GMT) from Bole International Airport and “lost contact” six minutes later. Scheduled to land in Nairobi at 10:25 am (0725 GMT), it came down instead near the village of Tulu Fara outside Bishoftu, creating a massive crater at the crash site.
The plane’s maker, US giant Boeing, said it was “deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 MAX 8 airplane. “We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team.”
The Boeing 737-800MAX is the same type as the Indonesian Lion Air jet that crashed last October, 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.