Ethiopian Airlines’ Flight ET 302 Crashes, All 157 Passengers And Crew Confirmed Dead

Engine parts are seen at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Engine parts are seen at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Photo: reuters)

The Ethiopian Airlines' Flight ET 302 crashed on Sunday, March 10, shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa at 8:44 a.m., local time. The plane, a Boeing 737-800 Max, that was on route to Nairobi, Kenya crashed near Bishoftu, a populated town in the southeastern part of Addis Ababa.

According to BBC News, it is believed that eight crews and 149 passengers were on board the ill-fated flight and they were from 33 different countries/nationalities. 32 were said to be Kenyans, 17 Ethiopians, seven Britons and eight Chinese were among the victims.

While the cause of the crash was not immediately determined, one witness stated he saw the plane on fire before it hit the ground. 

"The blast and the fire were so strong that we couldn't get near it," the witness told BBC. "Everything is burnt down. There are four helicopters at the scene now."

Via social media, Ethiopian Airlines issued its second bulletin regarding the flight ET 302 accident. It was posted four hours after the crash and the note stated that the CEO of the airlines is at the site of the accident and he regrets to confirm that there is no survivor.

The prime minister of Ethiopia extended his condolences to the families of those aboard the flight ET 302. On Twitter, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's office wrote, "The PM, on behalf of the government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express it's deepest condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on a regularly scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning."

At a news conference, the officials revealed that the Boeing 737-800 Max that went down in the Ethiopian flight was new and based on records, it has technical problems. Its pilot has a good flying record and in fact, they said that his record was excellent so they do not have a clear answer yet as to what caused the aircraft to crash. However, it was learned that the pilot said he wanted to veer the plane back to the runway.

"We received the airplane on Nov. 15, 2018. It has flown more than 1,200 hours. It had flown from Johannesburg earlier this morning," Ethiopian Airline's CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said. "The pilot mentioned that he had difficulties and that he wanted to return."

At the Nairobi Airport, relatives of the passengers were waiting for news from the airline officials. It was said that they have not received any update and no one was saying anything to them so they just hope for the best and praying that their loved ones are in a different flight. 

Meanwhile, this is not the first time that the Boeing 737-800 Max has been involved in an accident. This is the same model unit that Indonesian Lion Air crashed in October 2018 and just like with Ethiopian Airlines' flight ET 302, there was no survivor as well.

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