Ethiopian Airlines flight to Nairobi crashes killing all 157 people onboard

A shoe is seen among the debris as responders inspect the scene of the plane crash

A shoe is seen among the debris as responders inspect the scene of the plane crash

Airlines in Ethiopia, China, Indonesia and elsewhere grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliner Monday after the second devastating crash of one of the planes in five months.

At 6:22 p.m. Jakarta time, USA company Boeing confirmed that the aircraft was a Boeing 737-MAX 8, the same aircraft that was used for Lion Air flight JT610, which crashed in Indonesia in late October.

The airline's statement said 149 passengers and eight crew members were thought to be on the plane that crashed six minutes after departing Addis Ababa on its way to Kenya's capital.

- May 2018: More than 100 people died when a Boeing 737 leased by the Mexican company Damojh to Cuba's national airline, Cubana, crashed shortly after taking off from Havana.

As the sun set, the airline's chief operating officer said the plane's flight data recorder had not yet been found.

A list of the dead released by Ethiopian Airlines included passengers from China, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Israel, India and Somalia.

Boeing said in a tweet that it was "closely monitoring the situation".

There was no immediate indication of what caused the crash and safety experts said it was too early to speculate, adding most accidents are caused by a cocktail of factors.

The plane was delivered to Ethiopian Airlines in November.

The state-owned Ethiopian Airlines calls itself Africa's largest carrier and has ambitions of becoming the gateway to the continent. "The villagers said that it was a plane crash, and we rushed to the site".

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The fleet will continue flying since the cause of the crash is not clear, the CEO said.

Sunday's crash, however, had "no fluctuations and all of the sudden transmission" ceased, he said.

"It is believed that there were 149 passengers and 8 crew onboard the flight but we are now confirming the details of the passenger manifest for the flight".

The airline has a good reputation for safety.

The jet's last maintenance was on February 4, and it had flown just 1,200 hours.

It said it would issue further notices after consulting with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing.

New Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been promising to open up the state-owned airline to domestic and worldwide investors.

Its last major crash was in January 2010, when a flight from Beirut went down shortly after take-off, killing all 90 people onboard.

Speaking at the inauguration, the prime minister challenged the airline to build a new "Airport City" terminal in Bishoftu - where Sunday's crash occurred.

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