UPDATE: 157 feared dead as Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes; staff sent to accident scene
An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 passenger jet has crashed on a flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi.
The flight ET 302 was involved in an accident today around Bishoftu (Debre Zeit), the airline said in a statement.
It is believed that there were 149 passengers and 8 crew onboard the flight but we are currently confirming the details of the passenger manifest for the flight, the airline said.
The aircraft B-737-800MAX with registration number ET- AVJ took off at 08:38 am local time from Addis Ababa, Bole International Airport and lost contact at 08:44 am, it said.
“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 said.
Ethiopian Airlines is establishing a passenger information centre and telephone numbers will be available shortly for family or friends of those who may have been on flight ET 302.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted his “deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones”.