China’s civilian aviation authority has ordered all Chinese airlines to temporarily ground their Boeing 737 Max 8 planes after one flying for Ethiopian Airlines crashed after taking off from Ethiopia’s capital on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board.
The passengers, who were from at least 35 countries, included 2 Israelis and at least eight Americans, according to the airline.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China said the order to ground planes was issued at 9 a.m. Beijing time Monday and would last nine hours. It said the order was taken out of safety concerns because the Ethiopian crash was the second in similar circumstances since an Indonesian crash in October also killed everyone aboard.
“Safety is our number one priority and we are taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this accident, working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved,” Boeing said in a Monday statement.
The Ethiopian plane was almost brand new, delivered to the airline in November. The Boeing 737 Max 8 was one of 30 meant for the airline, Boeing said in July. The jet’s last maintenance was on February 4, and it had flown just 1,200 hours.
The plane crashed six minutes after departure, plowing into the ground at Hejere near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, some 31 miles outside Addis Ababa, at 8:44 a.m.
There was no immediate indication why the plane went down in clear weather while on a flight to Nairobi, the capital of neighboring Kenya.