File photo of an Ethiopian Airlines plane. Photograph:( AFP )
Abiy Ahmed's official Twitter account expressed condolences to families of those lost in an Ethiopian airline`s flight to Nairobi, without giving details.
An Ethiopian Airlines flight en route to Nairobi, Kenya with over 150 people on board has crashed. The airline said it is believed there were 149 passengers and eight crew on board.
"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 plane, a 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.
Accident Bulletin no. 1— Ethiopian Airlines (@flyethiopian) March 10, 2019
Issued on march 10, 2019 at 11:00am
Ethiopian Airlines will release further information as soon as it is available. Updated information will also be on Ethiopian Airlines website at https://t.co/Je7pXoKxHh pic.twitter.com/07wKZHPVPl
The Ethiopian Airlines plane took off at 8:38 am (0638 GMT) from Bole International Airport and "lost contact" six minutes later near Bishoftu, a town some 60 kilometres (37 miles) southeast of Addis Ababa by road.
The airline said "search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible casualties."
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's office issued a statement Sunday condoling with the families of the victims and saying the Boeing 737-800MAX was on a regular scheduled flight when it crashed.
The Office of the PM, on behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express it’s 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.— Office of the Prime Minister - Ethiopia (@PMEthiopia) March 10, 2019
"The office of the PM, on behalf of the government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express it`s deepest condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on the regularly scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning," the PM's office said on Twitter.
(With inputs from agencies)