Yesterday (Mar.10, 2019), Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 from Addis Ababa heading to Nairobi, Kenya, crashed, killing 149 passengers and eight crew, totalling 157 fatalities.
According to reports from The BBC, the months-old Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed just six minutes after take off, at 08:44 local time.
Eighteen Canadians were killed, representing the second highest death toll following 32 Kenyans, of the more than 30 nationalities on board the plane, alongside Ethiopia (9); China (8); Italy (8); U.S. (8); France (7); U.K. (7); Egypt (6); Germany (5); India (4); Slovakia (4); Austria (3); Russia (3); Sweden (3); Israel (2); Morocco (2); Poland (2); Spain (2); Belgium (1); Djibouti (1); Indonesia (1); Ireland (1); Mozambique (1); Norway (1); Rwanda (1); Saudi Arabia (1); Sudan (1); Somalia (1); Serbia (1); Togo (1); Uganda (1); Yemen (1); Nepal (1); Nigeria (1).
This is the second time a Boeing 737 has crashed just minutes after take-off in the last five months; back in late October 2018, Lion Air flight JT 610, operated by Lion Air and heading to Depati Amir airport in Pangkal Pinang, lost contact just 13 minutes after taking off, and crashed into the sea.
The aircraft used for this flight was brand new, made in 2018, and specifically intended for short-haul use.
Like the tragedy of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302, there were no survivors.
Reports by The BBC state that the pilot on ET302 made requests to turn back to Addis Ababa shortly after takeoff.
According to Flightradar24, an air traffic tracking app, the Boeing 737 operated by Ethiopian Airlines took its first flight back in October 2018, coincidentally, the same month the Lion Air flight, operated by the same aircraft, plunged into the sea.
After downloading the flight data from ET302, Flightradar24 said in a tweet:
"Additional data from Flightradar24 ADS-B network show that vertical speed was unstable after take off."
Who were they?
According to The Globe and Mail, officials have identified six out of 18 Canadian victims of yesterday's crash.
They included the chair of Carleton University’s African Studies department, a mother and her five-year old daughter from Edmonton, an accountant from Calgary, a senior financial accountant with the City of Calgary, and a young environmentalist from Winnipeg who was excited at the prospect of attending the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, issued the following statement on the fatal plane crash in Ethiopia:
“I am deeply saddened by the terrible plane crash today near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that claimed the lives of 157 people, including 18 Canadian citizens.
“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our heartfelt condolences to those who have lost family, friends, and loved ones as a result of this tragedy. While the causes of the crash continue to be investigated, the safety and security of all Canadians remains our primary concern.
“We are providing consular assistance, and working closely with authorities to gather further information. We join the international community in mourning the loss of so many lives, including those countries who have also lost citizens in this devastating crash. I am reaching out to President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed to express my condolences for this tragic event."
The following media statement was released yesterday by Boeing and posted via its website:
"Boeing is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 MAX 8 airplane. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team. A Boeing technical team will be travelling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board."
Following yesterday's crash, airlines around the world who currently use the Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet have taken measures to ground all flights until further testing can be done.
According to CNN, "the Civil Aviation Administration of China ordered Monday that all domestic Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets be out of the air by 6 p.m. local time, due to its principle of "zero tolerance for safety hazards."
China has one of the world's largest fleets of Boeing 737 MAX 8s, operating 97 planes, according to Chinese state-run media.
Cayman Airways also said on Monday it was grounding both of its "new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft ... until more information is received," CNN reports.
This story will be updated as more information emerges.
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