There were no Ghanaians involved in the Ethiopian Airlines flight crash that killed 157 people after officials confirmed that 36 different nationalities were involved in the accident, Ghanaguardian.com can reveal.
With Ghanaian frequenting that route, there were serious fears that citizens of West African country could have been involved in the accident that happened on Sunday morning.
However the airline said 149 passengers and eight crew members who were on flight ET302 from the Ethiopian capital to Nairobi in Kenya did not involved any Ghanaians.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told a press conference that passengers from more than 30 countries were on board the flight.
He said they included 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, eight Italians, eight Chinese, eight Americans, seven Britons, seven French citizens, six Egyptians, five Dutch citizens, four Indians and four people from Slovakia.
Three Austrians, three Swedes, three Russians, two Moroccans, two Spaniards, two Poles and two Israelis were also on the flight.
There was also one passenger each from Belgium, Indonesia, Somalia, Norway, Serbia, Togo, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda and Yemen.
The crash happened at 08:44 local time, six minutes after the months-old Boeing 737 Max-8 took off.
It is not yet clear what caused the accident.
However, the pilot had reported difficulties and had asked to return to Addis Ababa, the airline said.
The airline’s statement said 149 passengers and eight crew members were thought to be on board the Boeing 737 that crashed six minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa, on its way to Kenya’s capital.
The crash occurred around Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, some 50 kilometres (31 miles) south of the capital, shortly after taking off at 5:38 GMT, said the airline’s statement.
While the airline said that “search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible casualties,” a separate statement by the Ethiopian prime minister’s office offered its “deepest condolences” to families.
The state-owned Ethiopian Airlines calls itself Africa’s largest carrier and has ambitions of becoming the gateway to the continent.
The crash comes as the country’s reformist prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has vowed to open up the airline and other sectors to foreign investment in a major transformation of the state-centred economy.
An eyewitness at the scene told the BBC there was an intense fire as the aircraft hit the ground.
"The blast and the fire were so strong that we couldn't get near it," he said. "Everything is burnt down. There are four helicopters at the scene now."