All passengers on board an Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed shortly after take-off this morning (Sunday) have died.

The airline said 149 passengers and eight crew members were believed to be on flight ET302/10 March from Addis Ababa, Bole International Airport to Nairobi in Kenya, adding that there were 33 different nationalities on board.

The crash happened at 08:44 local time, six minutes after the flight took-off from the Ethiopian capital.

It is not yet clear what caused the accident.

First word of the crash came when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed expressed his “deepest condolences” on Twitter.

In an earlier statement, the airline said that search and rescue operations were under way near the crash site around the town of Bishoftu (Denre Zeit), which is 60km south-east of the capital.

“Ethiopian Airlines staff will be sent to the accident scene and will do everything possible to assist the emergency services,” read part of the statement.

Boeing, the company that built the aeroplane, said in a tweet that it was “closely monitoring the situation”.

Its 737 Max-8 aircraft is relatively new to the skies, having been launched in 2016. It was added to the Ethiopian Airlines fleet in July last year.

Another plane of the same model was involved in a crash five months ago, when a Lion Air flight crashed into the sea near Indonesia with nearly 190 people on board.

-BBC