8 Chinese nationals on crashed Ethiopian Airlines plane: Foreign Ministry

People at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, south-east of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on March 10, 2019.
People at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, south-east of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on March 10, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (XINHUA) - Eight Chinese nationals, including one from Hong Kong, were confirmed to have been on board the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed on Sunday (March 10), the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

"We extend our profound condolences to the victims and deep sympathy to the bereaved families," the ministry's spokesman, Mr Lu Kang, said late on Sunday night in a statement.

After learning of the crash, the ministry ordered China's embassy in Ethiopia to launch an emergency response and immediately contact the Ethiopian government and Ethiopian Airlines for further information, Mr Lu said.

"China hopes that the Ethiopian side will find out the cause of the air crash as soon as possible and keep China updated on the investigation developments," he said.

The Foreign Ministry and the Chinese embassy in Ethiopia will keep a close watch over the developments and go all out to help the families of the victims to deal with the aftermath, Mr Lu said.

Ethiopian Airlines said that the Boeing 737-800 Max 8, bound for Nairobi, Kenya, crashed shortly after taking off from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Sunday morning, killing all 157 people on board, including eight crew.