An Ethiopian Airlines flight carrying 149 passengers and eight crew members crashed Sunday six minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi, killing all on board including two Israelis.
The plane, a brand new Boeing 737 passenger jet, took off from Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport at 8:38 a.m. local time (0638 GMT) on a regularly scheduled flight between the Ethiopian and Kenyan capitals and “lost contact” just six minutes later.
There was no immediate indication as to what caused the crash. The airline’s CEO said that the pilot of the crashed plane had reported “difficulties” shortly after takeoff and requested permission to turn back.
The airline confirmed that there were no survivors, and that the victims included foreign nationals from over 32 countries.
Two Israelis were among the dead, which also included 32 Kenyans; 18 Canadians; nine Ethiopians; eight each from China, the United States and Italy; seven each from France and Britain; six from Egypt; five from the Netherlands; four each from India and Slovakia; and one Irish citizen.
“I came here to the Foreign Ministry to closely monitor reports from Ethiopia,” Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video outside the emergency situation room where he had arrived earlier to ascertain whether there were any Israeli victims.
“Unfortunately our ambassador in Ethiopia told us that two Israelis were killed in the plane crash,” he continued, “our hearts are with the families.
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.
— Office of the Prime Minister – Ethiopia (@PMEthiopia) March 10, 2019