No survivors following Ethiopian Airlines crash

Ethiopian Airlines has confirmed there are no survivors following a crash outside of Addis Ababa earlier.

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 came down shortly after take-off outside the Ethiopian capital at 08.44 local time.

The carrier said 149 passengers and eight crew members were believed to be on flight ET302, which was en route to Nairobi, capital of Kenya.

The airline added that there were 33 different nationalities on board.

The incident will be seen as a blow to Ethiopian Airlines, which has previously been considered one of the safest airlines in Africa.

It is not yet clear what caused the accident, which saw the months-old plane come down a few minutes after take-off.

A statement from the airline said that search and rescue operations were under way near the crash site around the town of Bishoftu, which is 60 kilometres south-east of the capital.

“Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency services,” the statement added.

Plane manufacturer Boeing said it was monitoring the situation.

The 737 MAX 8 aircraft is relatively new to the skies, having been launched in 2016.

It was added to the Ethiopian Airlines fleet in July last year.

Another plane of the same model was involved in a crash five months ago, when a Lion Air flight crashed into the sea near Indonesia with nearly 190 people on board.