Ethiopian Airlines plane crash: ‘No survivors’ on flight carrying 157 people

All 157 people aboard an Ethiopian Airlines plane have been killed after it crashed minutes after take-off, according to the state-run broadcaster.

New Delhi : The Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation said there were no survivors from Flight ET 302, carrying 149 passengers from 33 countries and eight crew members.

The Boeing 737-8 MAX was on a regular scheduled flight to Nairobi in Kenya, when it came down shortly after taking off from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The airline said the plane had crashed near the town of Bishoftu, some 31 miles (50km) southeast of the Addis Ababa.

The jet left the airport at 8.38am local time before losing contact with the control tower at 8:44am.

The plane “had an unstable vertical speed” after take-off, according to the flight tracking website Flightradar24.

Kenya’s transport secretary James Macharia described the crash as a “regrettable incident”.

He said Kenyan authorities were trying to find out exactly what happened, but because the plane came down in Ethiopian airspace they had limited information.

Mr Macharia told reporters: “It is a very sensitive emotional matter.

“We are waiting for more information to come from Ethiopian Airlines.

“What we are doing ourselves is to provide as much support as possible to relatives and friends waiting to meet passengers.”

He said they would be taken from Nairobi airport to a hotel where an emergency centre had been set up to provide them with support and assistance.

The aircraft is just a few months old, having taken its first flight at the end of October.

It is the same type as the Lion Air plane which crashed into the see off Indonesia last year killing all 189 on board.

In the wake of that disaster Boeing issued a warning to airlines using its 737 MAX planes after a sensor failure was identified as a potential cause of the crash.

Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement: “At this time search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible causalities.

“Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency services.”

The Ethiopian prime minister’s office has offered condolences to families.

The state-owned Ethiopian Airlines is one of the biggest carriers in Africa by fleet size.

It has said previously it expected to carry 10.6 million passengers last year.

The airline’s last major crash was in January 2010, when a flight from Beirut went down shortly after take-off.