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UN chief "deeply saddened" at loss of lives in Ethiopian Airlines plane crash

Press Trust of India  |  United Nations 

UN has condoled the death of over 150 passengers, including four Indians and 19 UN staff members, on board a Nairobi-bound plane which crashed minutes after take-off from

737 took-off from on Sunday and "lost contact" six minutes later before coming down near Tulu Fara village outside the Ethiopian town of Bishoftu, killing all eight crew and 149 passengers on board, including tourists and business travellers.

People from 35 were reportedly on board the flight ET 302 when it ploughed into a field, 60-kilometre southeast of

According to the Indian Embassy in Ethiopia, the four deceased Indian nationals are Vaidya Pannagesh Bhaskar, Vaidya Hansin Annagesh, Nukavarapu Manisha and Shikha Garg, the Development Programme (UNDP) attached with the

Guterres said in a statement that he was "deeply saddened at the tragic loss of lives" as it emerged that UN staff were also among the dead.

In a statement issued by his on Sunday, Guterres conveyed his "heartfelt sympathies and solidarity to the victims' families and loved ones, including those of the staff members, as well as sincere condolences to the Government and people of Ethiopia".

According to the UN Department of Safety and Security in Kenya, 19 UN staff members perished in the crash.

The (WFP) lost seven staff members, the Office of the on Refugees (UNHCR) lost two, as did the (ITU).

(FAO), (IOM) in Sudan, and (UNSOM) each lost one staff member. Rest of the deceased staff members are from the UN Office in (UNON).

The UN is in contact with the Ethiopian authorities and "working closely with them to establish the details of personnel who lost their lives in this tragedy," the said.

The disaster happened on the eve of the when Heads of State, environment ministers and thousands of others will convene for five days in the Kenyan capital.

Many senior UN officials took to to express their condolences and sadness.

of (FAO) expressed his "heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the bereaved families", saying that one FAO staff member was among the victims.

of the (WEP) tweeted that "the WFP family mourns today", adding that "we will do all that is humanly possible to help the families at this painful time".

In a statement issued later in the day, he said Guterres had called him to express his solidarity and support for the WFP family.

"As we mourn, let us reflect that each of these WFP colleagues were willing to travel and work far from their homes and loved ones to help make the world a better place to live. That was their calling, as it is for the rest of the WFP family," Beasley said.

Houlin Zhao, nternational (ITU) tweeted his "sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the plane crash".

Noting that two ITU staff were on the flight, he said, "our colleagues in are providing support to their families during this difficult time".

of the UN Children's Fund tweeted that "all of us at UNICEF mourn the tragic loss of our UN colleagues and all those who died in the crash today. May they rest in peace. Our thoughts are with their families and loved ones".

for Refugees issued a condolence statement saying: "UNHCR has suffered today a huge loss".

(IOM) expressed his deep sadness over the lives lost, including a young IOM staff member Anne-Katrin Feigl, who was en route to a training course in as part of her role as a

Indian national Garg was on her way to attend a (UNEP) meeting.

said had the largest number of casualties with 32, followed by with 18, nine, then Italy, China, and the US with eight each.

Britain and each had seven people on board, six, and five. Twelve in and 14 in had citizens among the victims.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 11 2019. 11:30 IST
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