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Ethiopian airliner crash minutes after take off

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An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 passenger jet has crashed on a flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi in Kenya.

The flight is believed to have had 149 passengers and eight crew members on board, the airline says.

A spokesman said the crash happened at 08.44 local time on Sunday, shortly after take-off from the Ethiopian capital.

First word of the crash came when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed expressed his “deepest condolences” on Twitter.

In a statement, the airline said that search and rescue operations were under way near the crash site around the town of Bishoftu, which is 60km (37 miles) south-east of the capital.

It did not provide details on the number of casualties. It is not clear what caused the crash.

“Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency services,” the statement added.

Boeing, the company that built the aeroplane, said in a tweet that it was “closely monitoring the situation”.

Its 737 Max-8 aircraft is relatively new to the skies, having been launched in 2016. It was added to the Ethiopian Airlines fleet late last year.

Another plane of the same model was involved in a crash five months ago, when a Lion Air flight crashed into the sea near Indonesia with nearly 190 people on board.

BBC

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