Kenyan chief mourns victims of Ethiopian Airways jet crash

NAIROBI, March 10 (Xinhua) — Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has sent a message of condolence to families and friends of the 157 people who perished in an Ethiopian Airlines jet crash earlier Sunday.

The Naoriobi-bound Boeing 737-800 MAX, which crashed near Bishoftu (Debre Zeit) inside Ethiopia, six minutes after take-off en route to Kenya, was carrying 149 passengers and eight crew members.

“We are saddened by the news of an Ethiopian Airlines passenger aircraft that is reported to have crashed 6 minutes after takeoff en route to Kenya. My prayers go to all the families and associates of those on board,” Kenyatta said.

Similar messages came from African Union envoy for infrastructure Raila Odinga and deputy president William Ruto.

Meanwhile, James Macharia, cabinet secretary for transport and infrastructure, said the government has set up two emergency centers to counsel those affected by the tragedy as it awaits for the manifest of the crashed plane.

Macharia directed families of the passengers on the crashed flight ET 302 to the two centres at Terminal 1D and Four Points hotel within the airport.

He said the centres will offer privacy and information to relatives of crash victims as the government waits for the plane’s manifest from the Ethiopian carrier.

“The purpose of these centers is to provide the relatives, who we call meeters and greeters, with information as much as we have and, at the same time, to provide them with an environment of privacy because until we know what has happened there will be a lot of anxiety,” he told a news conference in Nairobi.