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Mahama consoles Ethiopia over fatal aircraft crash

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Former President John Dramani Mahama has joined other world leaders to mourn the fatalities resulting from the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 on Sunday.

The crash killed all 157 on board including 8 crew members.

In a Facebook post, the flag bearer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) said: “We received news of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines ET302, bound for Nairobi, with shock and dismay. As we all know, ET has been the aviation workhorse of Africa and it is normal for many of us to fly to Addis Ababa and connect through Bole Airport to the many far-flung destinations across Africa and the world.

“Our hearts go out, at this time, to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, the Ethiopian people and the families of all who perished in the crash. This is surely a difficult time for the families of the dead, their employers, and the management and staff of Ethiopian Airlines.”

Ethiopian Airlines aircraft, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, en route to Nairobi, Kenya, lost contact with air traffic controllers, some six minutes after take-off and crashed near Bishoftu, southeast of the Ethiopian capital.

“The cause of the crash is not immediately known but the CEO of the Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam who traveled to the crash site said “it is too early to speculate the cause of the accident and further investigation will be carried out to find out the cause of the accident in collaboration with all stakeholders including Aircraft Manufacturer Boeing, Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority and other international entities to maintain the international standard and information will be provided once the cause is identified.”

The pilot, Yared Getachew who had been working for the carrier since 2010, sent out a distress call shortly after take-off and was given clearance to return.

The pilot had a cumulative flight hour of more than 800 and was commanding the flight with first officer Ahmed Nur who had a flight hour of 200.

Ethiopian state media has stated that the casualties were of more than 30 nationalities.

They included 32 Kenyans, 9 Ethiopians, 18 Canadians, 8 Chinese, 8 Americans, 8 Italians, 7 French, 7 British, 6 Egyptians, 5 Dutch, 4 Indians, 4 Slovaks, 1 Nigerian, 1 Togolese and 2 Spaniards.

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