One witness reported that the unfortunate Boeing 737 MAX 8 of Ethiopian Airlines was already in flames and erupted unpredictably before it crashed 60 kilometers from Addis Ababa.
"The plane was already in flames when it fell to the ground and the crash caused a big explosion," said witness Tegegn Dechasa at the site.
Another, farmer Sisay Gemechu, said, "The plane seemed to land in a nearby open field, but crashed before it got there."
Ethiopia and China took on board the Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet after the crash of a new passenger aircraft that killed 157 people aboard, as Monday's search for bodies and callous signs continued.
Ethiopia's parliament on Monday declared a day of mourning over the crash of Ethiopian Airlines, which hit a field on Sunday about 60 km east of Addis Ababa – just six minutes after the departure from the capital to Nairobi.
Aircraft waste, passengers and human remains
As the residents of the remote rural part of Ethiopia watched behind a safety line, inspectors inspected the site on Monday for shipwrecks, luggage, and human remains.
The single-aisle Boeing left a deep, black crater at the impact site that was excavated with a mechanical excavator.
Ethiopian Airlines, Africa's largest airline, said on Monday that it has "suspended its remaining fleet of six 737 MAX 8 Boeing's" until further notice ".
China also ordered domestic airlines to cease commercial operation of the Boeing 737 MAX 8. The country had eight people out of 157 employees – 149 passengers and eight crew – aboard the ill-fated ET 302 flight.
Boeing has called the MAX series the bestselling aircraft ever. By July 2018, over 4,500 orders had been placed by 99 customers worldwide.
The state Ethiopian Airlines had ordered 30.
The plane, which crashed on Sunday, was new and was delivered to Ethiopia on 15 November.
It is the same type as the Indonesian Lion Air-Jet, which crashed in October 13 minutes after the start of Jakarta and killed all 189 people from 35 countries on board.
At least 22 United Nations personnel were on the flight, many attending an annual meeting of the United Nations Environment Program, which was opened on Monday under a dark cloud in Nairobi.
UN flag at half mast
The delegates arrived at the half-mast with the United Nations flag hugging and comforting themselves when they wondered who might have been on the plane among the staff.
"Let's think that our colleagues were ready to travel and work far from their homes and loved ones to make the world a better place to live," UN Habitat Chief Maimunah Sharif told some of the gathering ,
The dead included World Food Program staff, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration and the Food and Agriculture Organization, authorities said.
Nairobi houses the global headquarters of UNEP and UN Habitat and is the regional headquarters of several other UN agencies.
"The news on the morning of the plane crash in Ethiopia, which calls for the lives of everyone on board, are deeply saddened," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said the plane had flown in from Johannesburg last Sunday, spent three hours in Addis, and had been "sent without comment," meaning no issues were reported.
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