Air tragedy has global impact
Tragedy struck yesterday when 149 passengers died after an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 passenger jet crashed few minutes after takeoff in Addis Ababa.
Eight crew members also perished when the plane crashed near the town of Bishoftu, shortly after it had left Bole Airport in the Ethiopian capital at 8.38am local time.
The plane carried passengers from 33 countries across the world including Canada, China, the UK, France, the US, Spain, Russia and Israel.
We join the world in sending our deepest condolences to the families and relatives who lost their loved ones in the crash.
We are deeply saddened by the deaths and more so that the crash involved Africa's biggest airliner, with a fleet of over 100 planes. Apart from its legendary reliability, Ethiopian Airlines is also widely respected for its safety record and its highly trained personnel including pilots.
We are confident that the airline, which carries a lot of lessons for the continent about how to run an efficient commercial aviation business, will continue to be a trusted carrier of people.
We, however, call for a proper investigation to be conducted on the cause of the crash out of respect for the deceased and their families. The latter are the most-important people in the journey to finding closure after such tragedy.
No stone should be left unturned in the probe, even if it might tarnish the reputation of Ethiopian Airlines. What is important is the truth for the families and their countries.
The truth about the crash could also bear some valuable lessons for the aviation industry, including plane manufacturing, so that faults could further be reduced.
US aerospace giant Boeing has already shown its willingness to provide technical assistance to find out why its aircraft crashed.
It is also encouraging that procedural search and rescue operations were put in place immediately after the accident.
The Ethiopian government should come on board as well to assist the families of the deceased who would be travelling around the world access the country without any difficulties.
Such tragic deaths affect all of us and we mourn with those who have been directly affected by this tragedy.