Ethiopian Airlines Crash Controversy and Information
An Ethiopian Airlines plane bound for Kenya has crashed with 149 passengers and eight crew members on board.
An Ethiopian Airlines spokesman confirmed the Boeing 737 plane had crashed at 8:44am on Sunday.
The Ethiopian prime minister's office said the plane had crashed on a regularly scheduled flight to Nairobi after taking off from Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted his "deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones".
The Office of the PM, on behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express it's 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 state-owned Ethiopian Airlines calls itself Africa's largest carrier and has ambitions of becoming the gateway to the continent.
In a statement, the airline said that search and rescue operations were under way near the crash site around the town of Bishoftu.
It did not provide details on the number of casualties.
"Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency services," the statement added.
The airline flies to many destinations in Africa, making it a popular carrier in a continent where many airlines fly only from their home country to destinations outside Africa.
It has a good reputation for safety, although in 2010 one of the company's aeroplanes crashed in the Mediterranean Sea shortly after leaving Beirut.
The incident killed 90 people on board.
Timeline of Ethiopian Airlines CrashThe news shattered more than two years of relative calm in Africa's skies. As millions on the continent headed to church on Sunday morning, an Ethiopian Airlines plane took off on a routine flight from Addis Ababa for Nairobi and quickly lost control.
Six minutes later, all contact was lost. All 157 people aboard were killed, representing a staggering 35 countries. Here is a timeline of how the day unfolded. All times local.
8:38 a.m.: Flight ET302 takes off from Bole International Airport in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. Records shared by Flightradar24 show that the plane's vertical speed quickly becomes erratic.
Shortly afterward: The pilot issues a distress call and is told to return.
8:44 a.m.: Contact with the plane is lost.
10:48 a.m.: The office of Ethiopia's prime minister in a Twitter post gives first word of the crash, offering "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."
11:15 a.m.: Ethiopian Airlines says it believes 149 passengers and eight crew members were on board the plane that crashed near Bishoftu, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) outside the capital.
1:35 p.m.: Ethiopia's state broadcaster reports that all passengers are dead.
2:45 p.m.: Ethiopian Airlines publishes a photo of its CEO standing in a crater amid the wreckage. Little of the plane can be seen in the freshly churned earth.
3:30 p.m.: The Ethiopian Airlines CEO and Kenya's transport minister say Canadians, Chinese, Americans and others are among the more than 30 nationalities of victims.
4:50 p.m.: The office of Ethiopia's prime minister says he has visited the crash site, expressed his "profound sadness" and ordered a full investigation.
5:35 p.m.: Ethiopian Airlines issues a new list of crash victims that includes 35 nationalities.
6:20 p.m.: As sunset approaches at the site, searchers and a bulldozer continue to pick through the scattered remains of the plane. The bulldozer digs for deeply embedded debris.
6:40 p.m.: Ethiopian Airlines says Ethiopian authorities, plane manufacturer Boeing and other international stakeholders will collaborate on an investigation into the cause of the crash.
8:25 p.m.: Ethiopia's House of People's Representatives declares Monday a national day of mourning for all victims.
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