Ethiopian Airlines crash: Nine Brits among 157 killed when plane crashed shortly after take-off, officials confirm
JC News|March. 11, 2019
Nine British citizens were among the 157 people killed after an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed shortly after take-off, it has been confirmed.
"At least nine British nationals" have been confirmed being among the victims, according to officials.
The flight crashed on Sunday morning after taking off from Ethiopia's capital.
It was originally feared seven British people had died on the flight.
An FCO spokeswoman said: "We can now sadly confirm at least nine British nationals were on board flight ET302.
"Our staff at the British Embassy in Addis Ababa are continuing to work with the relevant authorities in Ethiopia to obtain further information.
"We extend our deepest condolences to all those who have lost loved ones and those affected by this tragic event."
The news of how many Brits were believed to of been on the flight comes as a former airline pilot urged the Government to immediately ground the type of plane involved in the tragic crash.
Initial reports "strongly suggest" the latest incident involving the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 "is related" to last year's Lion Air tragedy, said opposition frontbencher Lord Tunnicliffe.
The Labour peer, who has flown previous models of the Boeing 737, called on ministers at Westminster to stop the aircraft flying until there was "a satisfactory explanation" of the fatal Ethiopia crash.
However, the Government said any decision to ground flights was best taken at an international level.
China, Indonesia and Ethiopia have halted flights by Boeing 737 Max 8 planes following Sunday's crash.
Tui Airways has the only five 737 Max 8 aircraft operated by a UK-based airline, and is due to begin flying a sixth later this week.
Other airlines fly the aircraft into the country, with around 730 flights so far this year, peers heard.
The Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed six minutes after taking off from the capital Addis Ababa.
Both the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder were recovered from the wreckage.
While the cause is not yet known, the crash shared similarities with last year's Lion Air jet plunging into the Java Sea, killing 189. That also involved a 737 Max 8 crashing minutes after take off.
Responding to a Labour question in the House of Lords on the safety of the aircraft following the latest disaster, Transport Minister Baroness Sugg said the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was working closely with European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EUASA) and the UK operator.
She said: "As more information becomes available, we will continue to consider all options to ensure the safety of citizens here in the UK and across the globe."
But pressing the Minister, Lord Tunnicliffe said: "In my day we had a rule - If it can go wrong it will go wrong.
"The industry seems to have lost sight of this rule.
"I believe everybody involved will be shown to be in dereliction of their duty.
"Initial reports strongly suggest the latest crash is related [to the Lion Air accident]."
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He added: "What will the Minister do? Can she explain why the Government is not taking immediate action to ground this aircraft until they have had a satisfactory explanation of the crash?"
Lady Sugg said: "The investigation into the Lion Air accident is still ongoing and obviously the awful accident in Ethiopia happened only yesterday.
"We are working very closely with EUASA, we were discussing the accident with the US Federal Aviation Administration and any decision to ground flights is best taken at an international level."
She also told peers that the UK The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) was sending a team to assist the Ethiopian authorities.
Additional reporting by Press Association
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