(Source: Reuters)

The plane crashed six minutes after departing, plowing into the ground at Hejere near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, some 50 kilometers south of Addis Ababa, at 8:44 a.m.

Authorities confirmed that the plane was carrying passengers from more than 30 countries.

The cause of the accident is not yet known. The Ethiopian Airlines chief executive, Tewolde GebreMariam, said routine maintenance had revealed no problems with the plane, and the captain Yared Getachew had flown more than 8,000 hours with an “excellent flying record”. 

The victims include 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, eight people each from China, the United States and Italy, seven each from France and Britain, six from Egypt, five from the Netherlands and four each from India and Slovakia.

State-owned Ethiopian Airlines, widely considered the best-managed airline in Africa, calls itself Africa's largest carrier and has ambitions to become the gateway to the continent.

The Ethiopian parliament announced a state funeral on March 11th for victims of the crash./.

Compiled by BTA