On Sunday, March 10, a tragedy occurred in Ethiopia that impacted 35 countries. A Sunday morning flight became a tragedy, within minutes, when a Boeing 737 Max 8, carrying 157 people en route to Nairobi, Kenya, crashed 6 minutes after takeoff from Bole International Airport, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, killing all 157 passengers and crew members onboard.
The plane took off at 8:38AM local time, and air traffic control lost contact with the flight at 8:44AM. The plane crashed in Bishoftu, a town 40 miles southeast from Ethiopia’s capital city. According to CNN, The victims came from 35 different nationalities from all over the world. Thirty-two Kenyans, seventeen Ethiopians, eighteen Canadians, eight Americans and seven French are just 5 of of the 35 different nationalities affected. The pilot of flight 302 informed controllers that the plane was having control problems before it crashed. The pilot also requested permission to return back to Bole Airport right after takeoff according to the Wall Street Journal.
This has been the second crash involving the 737 Max 8 plane in a span of 5 months. In October 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed in Indonesia, 12 minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 on board.
Countries around the world including the US, Canada, China, Australia, India and 45 more countries have grounded the Boeing 737 Max. As of right now, the cause of the crash is still unclear. Ethiopian airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told reporters at Bole International Airport, in Addis Ababa, “We cannot also attribute the cause to anything because we will have to comply with the international regulation to wait for the investigation.”
The Monday following the fatal crash became a national day of mourning in Ethiopia. According to Al Jerreza, remains are still being identified and will take up to 6 months for all of them to be correctly identified. For 35 countries that lost a citizen, and more countries, this crash was heartbreaking to hear about.