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Akufo-Addo consoles Ethiopians over plane crash

BY: Juliet Akyaa Safo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has consoled the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mr Abiy Ahmed, on the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane yesterday which killed all 157 people on board.

A statement from the Jubilee House yesterday said the President, in a message to the Ethiopian leader, said: “Like all Ghanaians, I have been deeply saddened by Sunday's news of the tragic loss of 157 lives who perished on board an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi in Kenya.

“On behalf of the government and the people of Ghana, I extend deep condolences and sympathies to the families of the deceased, and to you, Mr Prime Minister, the government and the people of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in these difficult times. May the souls of the departed rest in peace.”

The crash

According to a statement from Ethiopian Airlines, the aircraft, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, which was carrying 149 passengers and eight crew members, lost contact with air traffic controllers some six minutes after take-off, crashing near Bishoftu, southeast of the Ethiopian capital.

It did not say immediately the cause of the plane crash but indicated that the plane was a new one and had only been delivered to the airline in November.

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

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Ethiopian state media stated that more than 30 nationalities were on board flight ET 302, including 32 Kenyans, nine Ethiopians, 18 Canadians, eight Chinese, eight Americans, eight Italians, seven French, seven British, six Egyptians, five Dutch, four Indians, four Slovaks and two Spaniards.