MANILA -- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Sunday night sent condolences to the families of those on board the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi.
"The Philippines expresses its condolences to Ethiopia after 149 passengers and eight crew members were killed when an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max-8 crashed while en route to Kenya on Sunday," the department, through Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato, said in a statement.
"The loved ones of those who perished in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 are in our thoughts and prayers," it added.
The DFA is currently verifying whether Filipino nationals were among the 33 foreign nationalities on board the ill-fated aircraft.
The plane took off early morning from Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport and lost contact shortly afterwards near the Ethiopian town of Bishoftu.
In a statement on Sunday, the airline confirmed that its scheduled flight ET 302 to Nairobi "was involved in an accident."
The Boeing 737 Max-8 is the same type of aircraft as Lion Air Flight JT610, which crashed in October en route to the Indonesian city of Pangkal Pinang and killed all 189 people on board.
On Monday morning, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres likewise sent his thoughts to the victims' kin.
"Deeply saddened by the news this morning of the plane crash in Ethiopia, claiming the lives of all on board. My heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all the victims — including our own UN staff — who perished in this tragedy," he said on his official Twitter account.
The Italian aid group International Committee for the Development of Peoples (CISP), a partner of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund in Africa, confirmed that one of its founders, Paolo Dieci, was among the fatalities in the crash. (PNA)