Ethiopian Airlines crash: what we know so far

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 passenger jet to Nairobi crashed early on Sunday March 10 2019, killing all 149 passengers. Here is what we know so far.

The world woke up to the devastating news of the deaths of 157 people who were in an Ethiopian airlines crash near Addis Ababa.

This is what we know so far:

Time of crash

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 passenger aeroplane, which was headed to Nairobi, crashed at 8:44am, just a few minutes after it left Addis Ababa at 8:38am. 

Flight ET302 crashed near the town of Bishoftu, 62km from the capital.

Identities of the deceased

Although the crashed flight had flown to Addis from Johannesburg, none of the flight's passengers were South African.

Citizens from 33 countries including China, America and Italy lost their lives in the devastating crash.

Slovak MP Anton Hrnko lost his wife and two children in the crash, and six UN staff are among the deceased.

None of the eight crew members survived.

Canada, Kenya and Ethiopia have the most fatalities, which add up to 59 for these three countries. Nigeria, Nepal and Yemeni lost citizens too. 

Cause of the crash

The investigation into the crash is ongoing. Ethiopian state media reported on Monday around lunchtime that the 'black box' had been found.   

American aerospace giant Boeing offered the airline technical support to investigate the cause of the crash. 

"A Boeing technical team is prepared to provide technical assistance at the request and under the direction of the US National Transportation Board," it stated.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said the pilot had reported difficulties to the controllers, and was given clearance to return to Addis.

Reactions of family members

Two family members of the deceased spoke of their despair. Wendy Otieno said: "We're just waiting for my mom, we hope she took a different flight or she was delayed. She's not picking up her phone."

Robert Mudanta, 46, who was waiting for his brother in law who was coming back from Canada, said no one had given them an update by 1pm on Sunday. "We haven't seen anyone from the airline or the airport. No one has told us anything. We're just standing here, hoping for the best."

Countries ground Boeing 737 Max jets

The safety of Boeing 737 Max jets has been questioned by various countries after the second plane of the same model crashed after the Lion Air crash in October last year.

Cayman Islands and China are among those which have said they will ground flights.

A report by CNN says that domestic airlines in China operating this model will all have been grounded by 6pm on Monday.