Ethiopian Airlines plane
Ethiopian Airlines plane iStock

Eyewitnesses who saw the Ethiopian Airlines' 737 MAX 8 plane crash on Monday described the seconds from when the plane started smoking until it fell to the ground.

The plane had 149 passengers and 8 crew members on board when it crashed Sunday morning, leaving no survivors.

Witness Gabiahu Pikado told Hadashot 13 that "smoke was billowing from the plane's rear end, and then it crashed with a boom."

Maalka Galto, the farmer whose field the plane crashed in, said, "I saw smoke and heard strange noises. Small objects, that looked like papers, fell from the plane. Suddenly I heard a strange sound, the plane made a sudden turn - and it crashed."

Another eyewitness said, "I heard a loud explosion and then smoke started billowing in the sky. We started to run over, and we were shocked by what had happened. We saw body parts, documents, and passports spread all over. I saw Kenyan identity documents, papers from an American university. I saw photos of Ethiopian and Chinese people."

"A fire started burning in the plane's tail. It tried to lift itself up but started moving from side to side. In the end, after it flew over our house, the front of the plane turned down and its tail went up. It crashed straight into the ground and then exploded."

According to reports, teams from around the world have offered to help investigate the crash, but many are not allowed near the scene.

The victims' families have not yet received permission to enter the area.

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