Published on Sunday, March 10, 2019

Seven Britons among 157 killed in Ethiopia plane crash

All 149 passengers and eight crew on board an Ethiopian Airines flight that crashed shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia are confirmed dead.

The fatalities include people from 35 countries including seven British nationals, 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians and eight Americans, said the airline. One of the Britons was United Nations worker Joanna Toole, aged 36, from Devon.

Flight ET302 to Nairobi in Kenya crashed at 08.44 local time, shortly after the Boeing 737 Max-8 took off.

The cause of the crash is as yet unknown, but the pilot had reported difficulties and had requested to return to Addis Ababa, the airline said.

"At this stage, we cannot rule out anything," 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."

Another Boeing 737 Max jet operated by Lion Air crashed in Indonesia last year, killing 189 people onboard.

Prime Minister Theresa May said she was 'deeply saddened' to hear of the disaster.

"At this very difficult time my thoughts are with the families and friends of the British citizens on board and all those affected by this tragic incident," she said.

Slovakian MP Anton Hrnko has confirmed his wife and two children were killed in the crash, according to the London Evening Standard.

Aid workers, doctors and a prominent football official are also believed to be among the dead.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "Following the Ethiopian Airlines crash, we can confirm at least seven British nationals were on-board flight ET302.

"Our staff at the British Embassy in Addis Ababa are in touch with the relevant authorities in Ethiopia. We extend our deepest condolences to all those who have lost loved ones and those affected by this tragic event."

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