One Nigerian passport holder and 148 other passengers including eight crew of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 MAX on a routine flight to Nairobi, Kenya have been pronounced dead, according to the official statement from the airline.
The plane with registration number ET-AVJ, carrying passengers from more than 30 countries, departed from Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa at 08:38 am and crashed near the town of Bishoftu, 62 kilometres southeast of the capital Addis Ababa, the airline said.
The airline’s Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam in a statement said, the passengers included 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, eight Italians, eight Chinese citizens, eight Americans, seven British citizens, seven French citizens, six Egyptians, five Dutch citizens, four Indians, four people from Slovakia, three Austrians, three Swedes, three Russians, two Moroccans, two Spaniards, two Poles and two Israelis.
Countries such as Nigeria, Somalia, Rwanda, Norway, Serbia, Togo, Belgium, Mozambique, Sudan, Uganda, Indonesia, and Yemen each had one citizen onboard.
One passenger was reported using United Nations passports and their nationalities were yet unknown.
GebreMariam on Twitter has expressed deep regrets for “the fatal accident.”
Also, the office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has also commiserated with the family of the victims of the plane crash.
“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 message on government’s Twitter handle read.
Meanwhile, this is not the first in the series of accidents the Boeing 737 series would be involved, as it is recognised to be the best-selling commercial jetliner in history.
The first incident occurred on July 19, 1970, during an aborted take-off, though with no casualties. Two years after, precisely on 8th December 1972, United Airlines Boeing 737 – 222 crashed while attempting to land, with 45 people on board.