Ethiopian Airlines grounds Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet after crash

Ethiopian Airlines said on Monday it had grounded its Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet after a crash that killed 149 passengers and eight crew.

"Following the tragic accident of ET 302... Ethiopian Airlines has decided to ground all B-737-8 MAX fleet effective yesterday, March 10, until further notice," the state-owned carrier said in a statement released on Twitter.

"Although we don't yet know the cause of the accident, we have to decide to ground the particular fleet as an extra safety precaution," said the airline, Africa's largest.

UPDATE: Several UN staffers die in Ethiopian Airlines crash

All 157 people on board died when Nairobi-bound Flight ET 302 came down just six minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa.

It ploughed into a field near Tulu Fara village outside the town of Bishoftu, some 60km southeast of the Ethiopian capital.

China also grounded its fleet of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 in the aftermath.

Among the dead were tourists, business travellers, and UN staff headed for a conference.

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