An Ethiopian Airlines flight to Nairobi crashed early on Sunday with 149 passengers and eight crew members aboard, a spokesman for the airline has said.
Flight ET 302 crashed near the town of Bishoftu, 40 miles south-east of the capital, Addis Ababa, the airline said, confirming the plane was a Boeing 737-800 MAX.
“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.
“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.”
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 8.38 am (0638 GMT) from Bole international airport and “lost contact” six minutes later.
“It is confirmed it happened 8.44 [am],” said the spokesman, who did not give his name.
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”.