, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 10 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has condoled with families and friends of the 157 people who perished in the Ethiopian plane crash earlier Sunday.
“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,” he tweeted.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia who spoke to journalists at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport said two emergency centers had been set up to counsel those affected by the tragedy.
The Boeing 737 crashed six minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, killing all on board.
The airline said the accident occurred around Bishoftu (Debre Zeit) area where it lost contact.
“The Office of the PM, on behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia, 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,” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali tweeted.
The Boeing 737-800MAX is the same type of plane as the Indonesian Lion Air jet that crashed last October, 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.
The last major accident involving an Ethiopian Airlines passenger plane was a Boeing 737-800 that exploded after taking off from Lebanon in 2010, killing 83 passengers and seven crew.