Ethiopian Airlines plane with 157 people on board crashes minutes after take-off

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 | LLBG Spotter CC BY-SA 2.0

It did not list any upcoming scheduled flights for the planes.

At Nairobi airport, many passengers were waiting at the gate, with no information from airport authorities.

The U.N. Environment Assembly is set to begin on Monday in Kenya's capital, where the plane was headed.

The aircraft model was the same as that of the Lion Air plane that crashed into the Java Sea last October.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed also visited the scene.

The jet, which was Nairobi-bound, crashed six minutes after take off.

The 737 MAX 8 uses LEAP-1B engines made by CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric Co and Safran SA.

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Ethiopian's group chief executive at the crash site.

A Boeing statement in July noted the delivery of the first plane.

There were people from 35 nations on board, including 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians and eight Americans. There were no survivors in the crash, Reuters quoted state broadcaster Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation as saying.

Numerous passengers were from Kenya, but others were said to be from Italy, France, the US, Egypt, the Netherlands, Slovakia and India.

"Terrible news from Addis Ababa this morning", Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Twitter.

Little of the plane can be seen in the freshly churned earth.

Ethiopian Airlines confirmed the incident in a statement on Sunday.

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One customer at Southwest Airlines, which has more 737 Max jets on order than any other carrier, changed flights to another aircraft after discovering the plane was a 737 Max.

Seven British passengers and one from Ireland were among 157 people killed when an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed just after take-off.

The crash caused the plane to break into small pieces.

After learning the crash, the ministry ordered China's embassy in Ethiopia to launch the emergency response and immediately contact the Ethiopian government and Ethiopian Airlines for further information, Lu said.

The 737 Max 8 had not had any apparent mechanical issues on an earlier flight from Johannesburg, he said.

Noting the "similarities" between the two accidents, China's Civil Aviation Administration said domestic airlines had until 6pm local time (10:00 GMT) to ground all 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

"Cayman Airways has had decades of safe operations with Boeing aircraft and we will always have safety as our absolute highest priority". The statement gave no details.

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Ethiopian Airlines said "the pilot mentioned that he had difficulties and that he wanted to return" to Addis Ababa airport.

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