A retired Nigerian ambassador, Abiodun Bashua and a scholar, Pius Adesanmi (who travelled on a Canadian passport), have been confirmed to be among the 157 passengers onboard an Ethiopian Airline that crashed with no survivor on Sunday.
The ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 was a scheduled international passenger flight from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya. The aircraft, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, crashed near the town of Bishoftu in Ethiopia with no survivors.
The accident marks the second time in less than a year that a Boeing 737 MAX 8 has been involved in an airline disaster, following the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 shortly after takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia in October 2018.
The crash is the deadliest aircraft accident in Ethiopian Airlines history, surpassing the hijacking and subsequent crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 off Comoros in 1996. It is also the deadliest civil aircraft accident in Ethiopia.
Ethiopian Airlines, in a statement shortly after the crash on Sunday, said its management led by the Group Chief Executive Officer, GabreMariam had travelled to the scene of the crash.
The airline confirmed that 149 passengers and eight crew members were on board the flight, adding that the victims were of 35 nationalities. According to the manifest released by the airline, there were 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, eight Chinese, eight Italians and eight Americans as well as seven victims each from France and the United Kingdom.
Others are six Egyptians, five Germans, four each from India and Slovakia while Australia, Russia and Sweden has three nationals each and two each from Spain, Israel, Morocco and Poland. Other countries, including Nigeria, have one victim each.
According to the airline, it is too early to speculate about the cause of the accident, assuring that further investigation will be carried out to find out the cause of the crash in collaboration with all stakeholders including the aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority and other international entities.
“’Information will be provided once the cause is identified. Ethiopian Airlines will provide all the necessary support to the families of the victims. A senior captain named Yared Getachew with a cumulative flight hour of more than 8,000 and with a commendable performance was commanding the flight along with first officer Ahmed Nur Mohammod Nur who had a flight hour of 200.
“149 passengers and 8 crew members were on board the flight. The victims were of 35 nationalities. The crashed B-737-800MAX airplane flew back to Addis from Johannesburg this morning.
“Ethiopian Airlines Group expresses its profound sorrow and deepest condolences to the families of the victims and their loved ones on the tragic plane accident,” the airline added.