A jetliner with passengers from at least 35 countries crashed Sunday shortly after leaving Ethiopia’s capital, killing all 157 people on board and carving a crater into the ground, according to authorities.
The aircraft, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, a relatively new airplane, took off at 08:38am (05:38 GMT) and lost contact with air traffic controllers six minutes later.
There were 149 passengers and eight crew aboard the flight ET302.
Images from the vast, smoky crater at the crash site revealed a grim tableau. Workers loaded black body bags into a truck, while plane fragments and various items from the flight — cigarettes, shoes, napkins with the Ethiopian Airlines logo — were strewn across the field.
The dead included 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, eight each from China, the United States and Italy; seven Britain; six from Egypt; four each from India and Slovakia, among others, the airline said. The French Foreign Ministry said nine of its citizens were aboard.
While the cause of the crash was unclear, the disaster is certain to raise more doubts about the safety of the 737 Max 8, one of Boeing’s fastest-selling airplanes, which was the same model that went down in Indonesia in October, killing all 189 on board.
This makes it the second brand new Boeing to go down in the span of a few months.
China’s Civil Aviation Administration ordered the temporary grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft flown by Chinese airlines following a crash of one of the planes flown by Ethiopian Airlines. This order by the Civil Aviation Administration, issued 11 March 2019, demands all Boeing 737 MAX 8 in China to be grounded by 6 pm local time.