Revealed: 32 Kenyans among the dead in Ethiopian airliner crash

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam at the crash site. [Courtesy]

Kenya was the worst hit in the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 commercial plane crash today.

Thirty-two Kenyans were among the 149 passengers aboard the ill-fated plane, Transport CS James Macharia has said. 

CS James Macharia said a team led by Principal Secretary Esther Koimett has been sent to Ethiopia.

Families of the passengers have been directed to the two emergency centres at Terminal 1D and Four Points By Sheraton Hotel at JKIA.

They can also contact the emergency response team on 0733666066.

President Uhuru Kenyatta condoled with the families of the victim, adding that his prayers went to all the families and associates of those on board.

The state-owned Ethiopian Airlines had eight crew members at the time of the accident.

There were 33 different nationalities on board with two classified as ‘unknown’

In an earlier statement, the spokesman had confirmed that all 157 in flight ET302 from Mogadishu to Nairobi were dead.

Canada suffered the second highest casualties after Kenya at 18.  

Others included:  USA (8), Egypt (6), China (8), Ethiopia (9), Netherlands (5), UK (7), Russia (3), France (7), Italy (8).

Spain, Israel, Morocco and Poland suffered two casualties.

Belgium, Djibouti, Indonesia, Ireland, Mozambique, Norway, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, Serbia, Togo, Uganda, Yemeni, Nepal and Nigeria each had one national in the plane. 

The cause of the crash has not been revealed but Swedish flight-tracking website flightradar24 said it “had unstable vertical speed”.

“Data from Flightradar24 ADS-B network show that vertical speed was unstable after take off,” the Swedish-based flight tracking organization said on its Twitter feed.

The flight left Bole airport in Addis Ababa at 8.38 am local time, before losing contact with the control tower just a few minutes later at 8.44 am.