Plane with 157 on board crashes on its way to Kenya

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 passenger plane bound for Nairobi, Kenya capital city, crashed on Sunday.

The aircraft which took off from Addis Ababa, was said to have 149 passengers and eight crew members on board.

The crash occurred at 08.44 local time in Bishoftu,  shortly after take-off from the Ethiopian capital.

The airline confirmed the incident in a statement. It, however, said it could not confirm if there are casualties.

According to the statement, search and rescue operations are underway near the crash site.

“Ethiopian Airlines regrets to confirm that its flight ET 302/10 March in schedule service from Addis Ababa to Nairobi was involved in an accident today around Bishoftu (Debre Zeit),” the statement read.

“The aircraft B-737-800MAX with registration number ET-AVJ took off at 08:38 am local time from Addis Ababa, Bole lnternational Airport and lost contact at 08:44am.

“At this time search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible causalities. Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible  to assist the emergency.”

The Boeing aircraft was reportedly new and had been delivered to the airline just four months ago.