The Ethiopian prime minister’s office says an Ethiopian Airlines plane, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 has crashed on its way to Nairobi, with deaths reported.
The airline says it believes 149 passengers and eight crew members were on board flight ET302 that crashed six minutes after taking off from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on a regularly scheduled flight to Nairobi.
A statement from the airline Sunday morning said the Boeing 737 crashed around Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of the capital, shortly after taking off at 8:38am local time.
The airline statement said “search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible casualties.”
The Ethiopian prime minister’s office in a separate, earlier statement offered condolences to families. The state-owned Ethiopian Airlines calls itself Africa’s largest carrier and has ambitions of becoming the gateway to the continent.