passengers of more than 30 nationalities and eight crew

An Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after takeoff from Ethiopia’s capital on Sunday morning, killing all 157 on board, authorities said, as grieving fam

ilies rushed to airports in Addis Ababa and the destination, Nairobi. Eight Chinese citizens are among the dead.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash of the Boe

ing 737-8 MAX plane, which was new and had been delivered to the airline in November. Its last m

aintenance was on Feb 4 and it had flown just 1,200 hours, according to the airline’s CEO Tewolde Gebremariam.

He also told reporters that the pilot, who was a senior one and join

ed the airline in 2010, sent out a distress call and was given clearance to return.

The plane crashed six minutes after departing Addis Ababa on its way to Kenya’s capital, p

lowing into the ground at Hejere near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, about 50 kilometers south of Addis Ababa, at 8:44 am local time.

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