Ethiopian Airlines Flight Crashes With More Than 150 On Board

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Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302 crashed Sunday morning shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, the airline said.

The plane likely had 149 passengers and eight crew members on board, the airline said, but said it was still confirming details.

“At this time search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible causalities,” Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement. “Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency services.”

The plane was a Boeing 737-800 MAX, the airline said. It was on a regularly scheduled flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya.

The plane lost contact with the control tower six minutes after takeoff.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office expressed its “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.”

“Ethiopian is Africa’s biggest airline and recently the airport in Addis Ababa overtook Dubai as the leading gateway to sub-Saharan Africa,” NPR’s Eyder Peralta reports.

“Its last major crash was in January 2010, when a flight from Beirut went down shortly after take-off,” Reuters reports.