Ethiopia: 157 killed in Ethiopian Airlines plane cash


An Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed on Sunday, shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board.

Commercial flight ET 302 was carrying passengers from the Ethiopian capital to Kenya’s Nairobi before the aircraft plunged to the ground, roughly six minutes after take off. The cause of the crash remains unknown although comparisons are already being drawn to a recent crash in Indonesia with the same type of aircraft.

Cause of crash unknown

The vessel involved in Sunday’s crash was a new Boeing 737 Max 8 – one of the most popular commercial passenger jets around the world today and the same model involved in October’s deadly Lion Air crash that killed 189 people off the coast of Indonesia.

The incident in October was suspected to be the result of a technical malfunction designed to prevent the model stalling. While it’s too early to draw conclusions, two of the same aircraft models crashing in the space of five months is incredibly rare and the apparent similarities in the nature of both crashes have prompted some airlines to ground their 737 Max 8 jets – including Ethiopian Airlines.

The Lion Air flight also crashed minutes after takeoff, apparently nose-diving into the Java Sea.

Sunday’s flight was carrying people from at least 32 different countries. Most of the people on board were from Kenya while 22 of those on the flight were United Nations staff, travelling to an assembly of the UN Environment Programme in Nairobi.

Featured image: “Boeing 737-860(w) ‘ET-APF’ Ethiopian Airlines” flickr photo by Hawkeye UK shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.