March 11, 2019 / 11:54 AM / 12 days ago

U.N. says suffers 'catastrophe' in Ethiopian Airlines crash

Flowers are seen at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations has suffered one of its biggest losses in years in the deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet bound for Nairobi, the head of the U.N. in Geneva said on Monday, without giving a new casualty figure.

Michael Moller, director-general of the U.N. European headquarters in Geneva, told a minute of silence, where some 150 personnel gathered: “It is one of the biggest catastrophes we have had in years”.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), in a statement on Sunday night, gave a preliminary toll of 19 people from at least five U.N. and affiliated agencies, including the IOM, among 157 victims.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Toby Chopra

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