AN IRISH father-of-two was among the 157 people who died when an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 crashed on Sunday morning, March 10th.
Flight ET 302 from Addis Abada to Nairobi crashed at 08:44 local time (06:44 Irish time), just six minutes after take-off, killing all 149 passengers and eight flight staff onboard.
According to the airline, the pilot had reported experience difficulties and had asked to return to Bole International Airport. They subsequently lost contact with the plane.
An Ethiopian Airlines spokesperson said: “We hereby confirm that our scheduled flight ET 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi was involved in accident today.”
Though visibility had been good, air traffic monitor Flightradar24 noted that the plane’s “vertical speed was unstable after take-off”.
The pilot of the Boeing 737 has been named as Senior Captain Yared Getachew who, according to the airline, had a “commendable performance” with more than 8,000 hours of flight time to his name.
Victims from 33 countries were onboard, including 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, seven Britons and one Irishman.
He has been named locally as Michael ‘Mick’ Ryan, with tributes flooding in for the Co. Clare native who was working as part of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) at the time of his death.
Lahinch-based Councillor Bill Slattery told the Irish Mirror: “It’s an awful shock for his wife Naoise and their two children who live in Cork City.
“I’ve never met his wife but I’ve met Mick himself and he was a nice man and he comes from a lovely family.”
Ryan was one of 19 victims onboard the flight that were affiliated with the UN, according to a UN official.
Slovak MP Anton Hrnko confirmed via Facebook that his wife and two children were among those to perish on the plane.
A Greek man by the name of Antonis Mavropoulos has also took to social media to reveal he was due to board the flight but arrived at the gate two minutes late, describing it as his “lucky day”.
"I was angry because nobody helped me to reach the gate on time," he wrote. "I'm grateful to