Canadian officials have confirmed that 18 Canadians were on board Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302 that tragically crashed, killing everyone on board.
The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland was “shocked and saddened” by the tragedy.
The flight was on route from Nairobi to Kenya when it crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday morning killing all 157 people on board. This is the second plane crash involving the brand new 737-8 Max plane from Boeing.
“The Canadian government is working closely with its Ethiopian counterparts. Canadian consular officials were immediately deployed to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport today and are working with Ethiopian government agencies to ascertain the facts and to ensure that we can provide the most effective support to Canadian families at this difficult time.” – Chrystia Freeland
Three Canadians have been identified so far. Amina Ibrahim Odowaa and her daughter Sofia Faisal Abdulkadir were on their way from Edmonton to Kenya to visit relatives. Another man traveling on the plane has been identified as Professor Pius Adesanmi who taught at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.
Prime Minister Trudeau issued the following statement:
“I am deeply saddened by the terrible plane crash today near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that claimed the lives of 157 people, including 18 Canadian citizens.
“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our heartfelt condolences to those who have lost family, friends, and loved ones as a result of this tragedy. While the causes of the crash continue to be investigated, the safety and security of all Canadians remains our primary concern.
“We are providing consular assistance, and working closely with authorities to gather further information. We join the international community in mourning the loss of so many lives, including those countries who have also lost citizens in this devastating crash. I am reaching out to President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed to express my condolences for this tragic event.”
18 Canadians dead in Ethiopian Airlines plane crash that kills 157 people
Shortly after the plane took off, the experienced pilot reported technical difficulties and asked for clearance to return to the Addis Ababa airport. Permission was granted by air traffic control but the plane was not able to make it back. The pilot had more than 8000 flying hours and the plane was brand new with no technical remarks. The cause of the crash at this time is unknown.
“As I said, it is a brand new airplane with no technical remarks, flown by a senior pilot and there is no cause that we can attribute at this time.”
Ethiopian Airlines CEO – Tewolde GebreMariam
Second 737-8 Max crash in 8 months killing everyone on board
This is the second confirmed crash involving Boeing's 737-8 Max airplanes in just 8 months. At this time it's not known if this most recent crash was due to a technical problem with the plane. The Civil Aviation administration of China isn't taking any chances and is the first country to officially ground all the MAX 737 planes. No other countries have yet to follow suit at this time.
In a statement Boeing said it's deeply saddened to learn of the deaths of those who were on board.
“We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team. A Boeing technical team is prepared to provide technical assistance at the request and under the direction of the US National Transportation Safety Board,” the company said.