The Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed on Sunday morning shortly after leaving Addis Ababa for Nairobi in Kenya.
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It was not clear what caused the plane to go down in clear weather six minutes after departing Bole Airport in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa on its way to Nairobi.
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The Boeing 737 plane crashed just six minutes after taking off. Sunburned travelers and tour groups crowd the Addis Ababa airport's waiting areas, along with businessmen from China, Gulf nations and elsewhere.
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The airline management had earlier released the flight manifest showing the countries of origin of the 147 passengers on board. The Boeing 737 Max 8 was one of 30 meant for the airline, Boeing said in July. Besides the149 passengers were the eight crewmembers, who all died.The airline's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tewolde GebreMariam, told reporters that the pilot of flight ET 302 had reported technical difficulties and asked for clearance to return to Addis Ababa.He was given clearance to turn back, according to him, citing records from air traffic controllers.
Reacting to the accident in Daura, Katsina State, the President said: "Such large scale loss of human lives in a single incident is shocking beyond words. This couldn't have come at a worse time for Ethiopian Airlines". The jet's last maintenance was on February 4, and it had flown just 1,200 hours. "Investigation will be carried out to determine the cause of the accident, in collaboration with all stakeholders including the aircraft manufacturer Boeing, Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority and other global entities".
An Ethiopian Airlines spokesman said the crash occurred at 8:44am local time.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland said in a statement that the Canadian government is working closely with Ethiopian officials in the wake of the crash.