All 157 people on board an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed soon after taking off from Addis Ababa have been killed, the airline said on Sunday morning.
The plane, en route to Nairobi, Kenya, lost contact at 8:44 a.m. local time, six min
utes after taking off from Bole International Airport in the Ethiopian capital.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, told reporters at a press conference that
the pilot had reported technical difficulties and asked for clearance to return to Addis Ababa.
He was given clearance to turn back, according to GebreMariam, citing the Air Traffic Controllers record.
The pilot was a senior Ethiopian Airlines pilot who had flow
n more than 8,000 hours. He had an “excellent flying record,” according to the CEO.
The aircraft, flight number ET302, went down near Bishoftu, southeast of Addis
Ababa. An airline spokesperson told CNN the victims were of 35 different nationalities.
The spokesperson said 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethio
pians, eight Americans, eight Italians and seven UK nationals were among the passengers.
Eight Chinese passengers were also on board, said Li Liang, spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy to