At Least 21 UN Employees Aboard Crashed Ethiopian Jet

UN Secretary-General António Guterres issued a statement saying he is "deeply saddened at the tragic loss of lives" in the Ethiopian Airlines disaster. That flight was bound for Nairobi, Kenya, in clear weather. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane only six minutes into the flight, according to news reports.

At least 21 United Nations employees were on board the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed shortly after takeoff from the Addis Ababa airport on March 10, killing all 157 people on board. The aircraft was a Boeing 737 MAX 8, the same aircraft model that was involved in the October 2018 Lion Air crash into the Java Sea that killed 189 people.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres issued a statement saying he is "deeply saddened at the tragic loss of lives" in the Ethiopian Airlines disaster. That flight was bound for Nairobi, Kenya, in clear weather. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane only six minutes into the flight, according to news reports.

According to a UN news release on March 10, the UN World Food Programme lost seven staffers in the crash, the Office of the High Commissioner on Refugees lost two, as did the International Telecommunications Union. The Food and Agriculture Organization, International Organization for Migration in Sudan, World Bank, and UN Assistance Mission in Somalia each lost one staff member. Six staffers from the UN Office in Nairobi died in the crash.

The disaster happened on the eve of the UN Environment Assembly, when heads of state, environment ministers, and thousands of others are meeting for five days in the Kenyan capital.

David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme, tweeted that "the WFP family mourns today," adding "we will do all that is humanly possible to help the families at this painful time. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers."

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