An Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board, the second Boeing 737 MAX 8 crash in six months.
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:
- The Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed around Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, some 50km south of the capital, shortly after taking off on Sunday at 8.38am local time.
- There were 149 passengers and eight crew on board flight ET302 which was headed for Nairobi, Kenya.
- There were more than 35 nationalities among the victims, including Kenyan, Canadian, Ethiopian, Chinese, Italian, American, French, British, Egyptian, German, Indian, Slovakian, Austrian, Russian, Swedish, Spanish, Israeli, Moroccan, Polish, Belgian, Djibouti, Indonesian, Irish, Mozambican, Norwegian, Rwandan, Saudi Arabian, Sudanese, Somalian, Serbian, Togolese, Ugandan, Yemeni, Nepalese and Nigerian.
- There were no Australians on board.
- The cause of the crash is yet to be determined.
- The pilot had sent out a distress call and was given clearance to return, according to Ethiopian Airlines chief executive Tewolde Gebremariam.
- The plane had flown from Johannesburg to Addis Ababa earlier on Sunday morning, and previously underwent "rigorous" testing on February 4, according to the airline.
- An eyewitness described how there was an intense fire when the plane crashed and "everything is burnt down".
- Images of where the jetliner crashed show that little remains of the aircraft.
- Records show the aircraft had been delivered to Ethiopian Airlines as recently as November.
- It was the second Boeing 737 MAX 8 to crash in recent months after a Lion Air plane crashed off Indonesia in October.
The official Twitter account of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted this message: