32 Kenyans Die in Ethiopian Airlines' Boeing 737 ET302/10 Airplane Crash

  • 32 Kenyans perished on Sunday morning following the crash of a Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 airplane, shortly after taking off as reported by Ethiopian State Broadcaster (EBC).

    The plane was carrying also 18 Canadians, 6 Egyptians, 9 Ethiopians, 7 French nationals, 8 Americans 8 Italians 8 Chinese, and 7 Britons and 2 were yet to be identified. 

    Belgium, Djibouti, Indonesian, Ireland, Mozambique, Norway, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, Serbia, Togo, Uganda, Yemen, Nepal, and Nigeria all lost 1 citizen each. 

    Spain, Israel, Morocco, and Poland, had 2 passengers each on board. Austria, Russia and Sweden lost 3 national each. India and Slovakia had 4 citizens each on board the ill-fated plane while the Netherlands had 5.

    Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam visited the crash site and confirmed that there were no survivors. 

    Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, expressed his condolences to the friends and families of those affected.

    "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 a regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning," read the tweet. 

    An information centre was established at JKIA Terminal 1D as well as Sheraton Hotel at JKIA for friends, families, and associates who were expecting their loved ones from Ethiopia. They can also call the hotline - 0733666066 for assistance.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta conveyed his message of condolence to those affected, tweeting "We are saddened by the news of an Ethiopian Airlines passenger aircraft that is reported to have crashed 6 minutes after takeoff en route to Kenya. My prayers go to all the families and associates of those on board."

    The plane had taken off from Addis Ababa at 8:32am and had approximately 157 passengers and eight crew members on board.

    The plane, flight number ET302/10 March was scheduled to touch at JKIA at 10:25am. 

    The fatal crash is reported to have occurred six minutes into the flight within Ethiopia's borders.

    The Boeing 737 MAX8 was brand new had been delivered just four months ago.

    In 2018, the plane manufacturer, Boeing, had issued a warning regarding the potential for an erroneous 'angle of attack' input on the aircraft, following a crash in Indonesia. 

    US authorities had cautioned that the so-called angle of attack sensor had potential to provide false readings in limited circumstances, such as when a plane’s autopilot is switched off.

    The error was capable of causing a 737 Max to nose-dive.  "The sensor malfunction can essentially trick the plane into pointing its nose down to gain the speed it thinks it needs to keep flying," read the statement. 

    Update:

    A statement from Ethiopian Airlines below.

    Ethiopian Airlines regrets to confirm that its flight ET 302/10 March in schedule service from Addis Ababa to Nairobi was involved in an accident today around Bishoftu (Debre Zeit).

    The aircraft B-737-800MAX with registration number ET- AVJ took off at 8.38am local time from Addis Ababa, Bole International Airport and lost contact at 8.44am.

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

    It is believed that there were 149 passengers and eight crew on board the flight but we are currently confirming the details of the passenger manifest for the flight.

    Ethiopian Airlines is establishing a passenger information center and telephone number will be available shortly for family or friends of those who may have been on flight ET 302/10 March.