The Latest: Pope sends condolences over Ethiopian crash

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The Latest on Ethiopian Airlines crash (all times local):

3:30 p.m.
There are scenes of agony as members of an association of Ethiopian airline pilots cry uncontrollably for colleagues killed in Sunday’s crash near Addis Ababa.

Framed photographs of seven crew members sit in chairs at the front of a crowded room.

One pilot says he had planned to watch a soccer game between Manchester and Arsenal with the flight’s main pilot, Yared Getachew.

It was Getachew who issued a distress call shortly after takeoff and was told to return. But all contact was lost.

Another pilot says he flew with Yared several times and said they even lived together before becoming senior pilots.

3:15 p.m.
Pope Francis has sent his condolences to the families of the victims of the plane crash in Ethiopia.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, said in a statement Monday that the pope was sad to learn about the crash and “offers prayers for the deceased from various countries and commends their souls to the mercy of Almighty God.”

The statement said, “Pope Francis sends heartfelt condolences to their families, and upon all who mourn this tragic loss he invokes the divine blessings of consolation and strength.”

3 p.m.
Shares of Boeing are tumbling before the opening of U.S. markets following the crash in Ethiopia of a Boeing 737 Max 8, the second deadly crash since October.

All 157 people on board were killed on Sunday. A Lion Air model of the same plane crashed in Indonesia last year, killing 189 people.
Shares of Boeing Co. plunged more than 9 percent in premarket trading Monday. If that trend holds, it could be one of the company’s worst trading days in about a decade.

Indonesia and China have grounded all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. Ethiopian Airlines and Cayman Airways are doing the same.

1:35 p.m.
Ethiopia’s state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate reports that the black box has been found from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines plane.

An airline official, however, tells The Associated Press that the box is partially damaged and that “we will see what we can retrieve from it.”

The official spoke on condition of anonymity for lack of authorization to speak to the media.

The plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa on Sunday en route to Nairobi.

1:20 p.m.
China says two United Nations workers were among the eight Chinese nationals killed on the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed shortly after takeoff Sunday.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang says the other Chinese passengers included four who were working for a Chinese company and two who had travelled to Ethiopia for “private matters.”
All 157 people on board the flight to Nairobi died.

Lu said Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders have sent condolence messages to their Ethiopian counterparts. China has extended condolences to victims’ families.

China has ordered its airlines to ground their Boeing 737 Max 8 aircrafts by 6 p.m.

12:45 p.m.
The United Nations migration agency said that one of its staffers, German citizen Anne-Katrin Feigl, was on the plane en route to a training course in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya and the plane’s destination.

Germany’s foreign ministry has officially confirmed that five victims of the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash that killed 157 people were German citizens.

The ministry said in a statement Monday that it was in contact with the families of the victims. It did not reveal any information on the identity of those who died in the crash Sunday.

All in all, 35 countries had someone among the 157 people who were killed. All people on board died minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa.

12 p.m.
The U.N. office in Nairobi is joining Ethiopia in mourning the 157 dead in Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa.

A moment of silence and U.N. flags at half-staff marked the deaths that included several workers with U.N. and affiliated organizations.
The U.N. resident coordinator in Nairobi, Siddharth Chatterjee, says that “This has taken us by shock. … But it also goes to reinforce the mortality of human life and therefore reinforces the need for humanity.”

He says U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent “a poignant message of condolences to everybody, not just the U.N. staff but the crew of the flight and all other nationalities which were on the plane.”

People from 35 countries died.

10 a.m.
A spokesman says Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as a safety precaution, following the crash of one of its planes in which 157 people were killed.

Asrat Begashaw said Monday that although it is not yet known what caused the crash on Sunday, the airline decided to ground its remaining four 737 Max 8 planes until further notice as “an extra safety precaution.” Ethiopian Airlines was using five new 737 Max 8 planes and was awaiting delivery of 25 more.

Begashaw said searching and digging to uncover body parts and aircraft debris will continue. He said forensic experts from Israel have arrived in Ethiopia to help with the investigation.

BAssociated Press