Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX involved in fatal crash

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX has been involved in a fatal crash whilst operating ET302 from Addis Ababa.

The Office of the Ethiopian Prime Minister released a statement not long ago with the following message:

“The Office of the PM, on behalf of the government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express 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.”

The aircraft involved was a four month old Boeing 737 MAX 8 registered ET-AVJ, which vanished from radar screens just six minutes after departing Addis Ababa. Ethiopian lists 149 passengers and eight crew members were onboard at the time.

First photo of the crash site with the CEO of the airline inspecting the site (something that has sparked controversy):

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX involved in fatal crash

Flightradar24 captured the last moments of the aircraft before it disappeared:

After processing the data, Flightradar24 determined vertical speed was unstable during takeoff:

In a message from the airline on their website, the aircraft is suspected to be located around Bishoftu (Debre Zeit).

Rescue efforts currently underway. A passenger information center and telephone number will be set up very shortly for family and friends of those who may have been on the flight.

In a press conference, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines stated pilots contacted air traffic control requesting a return to the airport following difficulties with the aircraft.

UPDATE: Boeing is aware of the accident and is looking into it:

UPDATE 2: State television is broadcasting zero survivors.

UPDATE 3: Full statement from Boeing:

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX involved in fatal crash

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX involved in fatal crash

 

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BREAKING NEWS: An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 has been involved in a reportedly fatal crash whilst operating ET302 from Addis Ababa. The aircraft, registered ET-AVJ, is a four month old Boeing 737 MAX 8 that vanished from radar screens just six minutes after departure. Ethiopian Airlines suspects the aircraft is located around Bishoftu, with rescue efforts already on their way. The Prime Minister Office of Ethiopia has released a statement confirming the crash. 149 passengers and eight crew are said to be involved. This is the second fatal crash for the brand new Boeing 737 iteration. #aviation #aviationphotography #aviationphoto #plane #airlines_daily #aviaserver #planespotter #airlinestv #instaaviation #aviationtopia #airliners #futureaviator #aviation_pub #aviation4u #aviationlovers #aviationpictures #avgeek #aviationworld #planespotting #spotter #jetphotography

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UPDATE 4:

Who are the victims?

Mr Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, told the news conference that passengers from more than 30 countries were on board the flight.

He said they included 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, eight Italians, eight Chinese, eight Americans, seven Britons, seven French citizens, six Egyptians, five Germans, four Indians and four people from Slovakia.

Slovak MP Anton Hrnko later confirmed via Facebook that his wife and two children were on the plane.

Three Austrians, three Swedes, three Russians, two Moroccans, two Spaniards, two Poles and two Israelis were also on the flight.

There was also one passenger each from Belgium, Indonesia, Somalia, Norway, Serbia, Togo, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda and Yemen.

Four people held United Nations passports, the airline said, and it believed some passengers could have been heading to a session of the UN Environment Assembly which begins in Nairobi on Monday.

A UN source also told Agence France-Presse that “at least a dozen of the victims were affiliated with the UN”, and that this may include freelance translators.

The pilot was named as Senior Captain Yared Getachew who had a “commendable performance” with more than 8,000 hours in the air, the airline said.

The plane’s First Officer Ahmed Nur Mohammod Nur had 200 flight hours, it added.

 

UPDATE 5:

Talking at a press conference, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines mentioned the aircraft was brand new (as already established) and had a perfect safety record. It had accumulated around 1200 hours with no maintenance faults detected with the aircraft being “well-maintained”.

This is a developing story. Check back later for more information as it becomes available.

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