157 Dead As Ethiopian Airlines Plane Crashes Shortly After Takeoff; Passengers Included Eight Americans, Boeing 737-8 MAX to Kenya

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ETHIOPIA – An Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed soon after taking off from Ethiopia’s capital Sunday morning, killing all 157 passengers and crew members on board.

The passengers included eight Americans, Fox News reported. The Boeing 737-8 MAX plane took off from Addis Ababa’s Bole airport at 8:38 a.m. en route to Nairobi, Kenya. The control tower lost contact with the plane minutes later at 8:44 a.m.

The doomed aircraft sent out a distress call and was cleared to return to the airport but did not make it, The Associated Press reported. Officials located the crash site about 30 miles south of Addis Ababa.

The people dead in the crash represented more than 30 nationalities. The plane was just several months old and had first arrived at the airline in November.

Ethiopian Airlines is a state-owned company and generally seen as the best-managed airline in Africa. The airline has a reputation for adopting new planes and technology early on as it seeks to stay and grow more competitive, according to AP.

The airline released a photo of CEO Tewolde Gebremariam standing amid the wreckage of the crash site.

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