Four Indians were among 149 passengers who were killed when a Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines aircraft crashed six minutes after take-off Sunday morning from Addis Ababa, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said. Eight crew members onboard the Boeing 737 were also confirmed dead.
Swaraj tweeted that the Indian embassy in Ethiopia has informed that “the deceased Indian nationals are Vaidya Pannagesh Bhaskar, Vaidya Hansin Annagesh, Nukavarapu Manisha and Shikha Garg”.
“My colleague Dr Harshvardhan has confirmed that Ms Shikha Garg is a Consultant with Ministry of Environment and Forests. She was travelling to attend UNEP meeting in Nairobi. I am trying to reach the families of other Indian nationals,” she tweeted, while tagging the Indian embassy in Ethiopia.
People holding passports from 32 countries and the UN were onboard the plane, which ploughed into a field 60 km southeast of Addis Ababa, the carrier’s CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said.
State-owned Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest carrier, said the Boeing 737-800MAX took off at 8:38 am local time from Bole International Airport and “lost contact” six minutes later. Scheduled to land in Nairobi at 10:25 am, it crashed near the village of Tulu Fara outside Bishoftu. Rescue crews were retrieving human remains from the wreckage, officials said. Ethiopian Airlines confirmed “there are no survivors”.