There are no survivors among 157 people on board an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 that crashed en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Ethiopia’s state broadcaster reported.
The 149 passengers and eight crew were of 33 nationalities, the country’s state broadcaster EBC reported on Sunday.
Ethiopia’s prime minister offered condolences to victims’ families.
“We hereby confirm that our scheduled flight ET 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi was involved in an accident today,” the airline said in a statement on Sunday.
“It is believed that there were 149 passengers and eight crew on board the flight but we are currently confirming the details of the passenger manifest for the flight,” according to the statement.
Earlier on Sunday, the airline said “search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible casualties”.
The plane took off at 8:38am (06:38 GMT) from Bole International Airport and “lost contact” six minutes later near Bishoftu, a town about 60km southeast of Addis Ababa by road.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office tweeted it “would like to express its deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning.”Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta offered prayers for the family members and loved-ones of those on the plane.
“We are saddened by the news of an Ethiopian Airlines passenger aircraft that is reported to have crashed 6 minutes after takeoff en route to Kenya. My prayers go to all the families and associates of those on board,” Kenyatta said in Twitter.
Ethiopian Airlines said it would send staff to the accident scene to “do everything possible to assist the emergency services”.
It would also set up a passenger information centre and a dedicated telephone number for family and friends of people who may have been on the flight.
Al Jazeera’s Catherine Soi, reporting from Nairobi airport, said an information and service desk had also been set up there.
“Thirty-three nationalities are confirmed to be on board. Some of them could have been Kenyans, diplomats perhaps coming for a very important UN conference here in Nairobi that is supposed to start tomorrow,” Soi reported.
“Relatives are here, waiting on any information they can get. The flight as supposed to land at Nairobi at 10:35am local time,” she added.