All 157 people on board Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 were killed Sunday morning when the plane crashed shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.
The cause of the crash is under investigation. Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told reporters that the pilot, after experiencing technical difficulties, asked for clearance to return to Bole International Airport. The plane, a brand new Boeing 737, was headed to Nairobi, and the pilot had an "excellent flying record," the CEO said.
The victims include Pius Adesanmi, a Nigerian author and professor from Ottawa's Carleton University who received the inaugural Penguin Prize for African non-fiction writing in 2010; Paolo Dieci, the Italian founder of the International Committee for the Development of Peoples; retired Nigerian Ambassador Abiodun Oluremi Bashu; three doctors from Austria; and the wife, daughter, and son of Slovakian lawmaker Anton Hrnko.
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Several U.N. employees were also on the flight, including workers with the World Food Program. The U.N. Environment Assembly is taking place in Nairobi this week, and many were on their way to the event. Eight Americans were on the plane, as well as 32 victims from Kenya, nine from Ethiopia, eight from China, and seven from France.
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