Ethiopian Airlines, ET-AQO, Boeing 737-860 (credit: wiki Anna Zvereva)

Two Israelis were among fatalities in the state-owned Ethiopian Airlines disaster near Addis Ababa last Sunday morning.

None of the 149 passengers and eight crew members from over 30 nationals on board the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane survived the crash which experienced problems shortly after take-off from Ethiopia’s capital on route to Nairobi.

High-tech businessman Avraham Matzliah was the first Israeli identified earlier this week.

The 49-year-old dad of two teenagers lived in Maale Adumim, near Jerusalem and flew from Tel Aviv to Africa on a monthly basis.

His 19-year-old daughters both serve in the IDF.

Israel offered to assist following the crash, around 100,000 Israelis travelled on Ethiopian Airlines last year.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delegation approved a delegation of two ZAKA search and rescue volunteers to aid authorities.

Netanyahu expressed condolences at his weekly cabinet meeting to families of the victims, the Ethiopia government and people.

“If there is anything we can do, we are of course ready to do it,” he vowed.

ZAKA said in a statement two teams, in Israel and South Africa, would be in the delegation.

“Our teams will make every effort to locate the bodies of the Israelis and bring them home for burial,” Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, ZAKA chairman, noted on Twitter.

“Unfortunately, in our vast experience assisting in these types of tragedies around the world, we have acquired a great deal of professionalism in responding to such incidents.”

One of Avraham’s twin daughters, Yael, told reporters she had last spoken to her father before he departed.

“His flights were routine,” she said. “On Sunday I saw the story about the plane crash so we started making phone calls to the airline and quickly understood the tragedy.

“We’re shocked. We still can’t comprehend it.”

“Avraham was a very special person,” added his sister Meirav, who heard Avraham was on the flight from another brother.

“He was a wonderful father and a such a funny man, we’re shocked, it’s a tragedy. We cannot believe it.”

She added, “My mom still believes he might be alive. She’s in total denial,” said Meirav. “She won’t believe he’s gone until she sees the body.”

The family is unsure how long it may take till his remains are returned to Israel for burial.

Two orthodox passengers, agricultural entrepreneurs Yisroel Mozeson and Shraga Israel, were among a few passengers who missed the flight for various reasons according to Walla News.

Mozeson was supposed to fly to Addis Ababa then connect for a flight to Nairobi.

Reports noted the plane displayed unstable vertical speed after take-off, attempted to climb before descending but it is unclear what caused the crash.

The plane crashed six minutes into its flight at Hejere near Bishoftu 50km south of Addis Ababa.

Tewolde Gebremariam, the airline’s CEO, confirmed there were no survivors on social media expressing “profound sympathy and condolences” to families of passengers and crew.

He told reporters the pilot had sent a distress call and was given clearance to return to the airport.

And he confirmed that nationals on board were from Kenya, Canada, China, American, Ethiopia, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Egypt, India, Slovakia.

Gebremariam confirmed that the new Boeing was delivered to Ethiopian Airlines last November and had flown 1,200 hours.

The senior pilot had been with the airline since 2010.

Ethiopian authorities are being assisted various countries in the investigation.

The flight recorders have been found.

Airlines in Ethiopia, China, Australia, Indonesia are among nations to ground the jet after a second fatal crash of the plane in five months.

A Boeing 737-8 MAX crashed into the Java Sea shortly after take-off from Jakartal, killing all 189 people on board a Lion Air flight.

The Ethiopian prime minister’s office offered “deepest condolences” to families, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta was praying for the families and associates of those on board.

Boeing said it was “deeply saddened” in a statement and a technical team would assist at the request of the US National Transportation Safety Board.

The cockpit data recorder showed the jet’s airspeed indicator had malfunctioned.

By Natalie Ash