Plane crashes in Ethiopia, killing all 157 on board

Debris scattered across the crash site of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 near Bishoftu, a town some 60km south-east of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Emergency workers yesterday worked to recover the bodies of the passengers, who were from 33 count
Debris scattered across the crash site of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 near Bishoftu, a town some 60km south-east of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Emergency workers yesterday worked to recover the bodies of the passengers, who were from 33 countries.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

An Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet bound for Nairobi crashed minutes after take-off yesterday, killing all 157 people on board and raising questions about the safety of Boeing's new 737 MAX 8 model.

Flight ET302 went down minutes after leaving Addis Ababa, after losing contact with the control tower.

The airline's CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told reporters the pilot had asked to turn the plane back after facing difficulties. Passengers from 33 countries were aboard the plane.

This is the second recent crash of the relatively new 737 MAX 8, the latest version of Boeing's workhorse narrow-body jet that first entered service in 2017.

A Lion Air plane of the same type plunged into the Java Sea off the coast of Indonesia on Oct 29 last year, killing 189 people. The cause of that crash is still under investigation.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2019, with the headline 'Plane crashes in Ethiopia, killing all 157 on board'. Print Edition | Subscribe