Photo: Mulugeta Ayene, AP
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Two brothers from Northern California are among the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on Sunday.
Melvin and Bennett Riffel of Redding were on the Boeing 737 Max 8 that went down shortly after takeoff outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Riffels were on vacation and had traveled to Australia and Mogadishu before arriving in Ethiopia.
Melvin’s wife Brittney, who is expecting their first child, was traveling with the pair but had already returned to California.
“We understand it was the brothers’ last adventure together before Melvin became a father,” Redding Chamber of Commerce president Jake Mangas, a friend of the family, told the Redding Record Searchlight.
The new Ethiopian Airlines plane bound for Nairobi took off at 8:38 a.m. and faltered and crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 people on board.
The victims included individuals from more than 30 nationalities, including 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, eight Italians, eight Americans, and seven British citizens, as well as four U.N. passport holders.
The crash was strikingly similar to that of a Lion Air jet in Indonesian seas last year, killing 189 people. Both accidents involved the Boeing 737 Max 8. Germany, Iceland, Australia, the U.K., Ireland, France and China are among the countries which have ordered either a temporary grounding of those planes or banned it from their airspace.
The plane crashed near the city of Bishoftu less than 40 miles to the southeast of Addis Ababa.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/northern-california-ethiopia-crash-victims-13682143.php.