Manisha Nukavarapu

A physician based in Tennessee, working at East Tennessee State University, Manisha Nukavarapu, was among those killed in a March 10 Ethiopian Airlines plane crash. (East Tennessee State University photo)

AMARAVATI – A U.S.-based young physician from Andhra Pradesh was among the 157 killed in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash.

Manisha Nukavarapu, hailing from Guntur district, was on her way to Nairobi, Kenya, to see her sister who had delivered three baby boys a few days ago.

The Indian American physician was also looking to visit her parents, Venkateshwar Rao and Bharathi, who were with their elder daughter.

A relative of Nukavarapu tweeted to Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj that her parents were waiting to receive the body in Nairobi. The minister replied that she had asked Rahul Chhabra, the Indian high commissioner in Nairobi, to provide all help and assistance.

Four Indians were among those who died in the Boeing 737 jet crash on March 10 which occurred shortly after it took off from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

After studying medicine at Guntur Medical College, Nukavarapu went to the U.S. for higher studies and settled in Tennessee.

She is listed as one of the resident physicians of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Quillen College of Medicine in East Tennessee State University.

"Those who knew her described her as a fine resident, a delightful person and dedicated physician," a university news release said. "She will be greatly missed by her colleagues and patients."

The Associated Press adds: Citizens from 35 countries were killed when an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi. Among the list of nationalities as released by the airline includes eight from the U.S. and four from India.

It was not clear what caused the Ethiopian Airlines plane to go down in clear weather. The accident was strikingly similar to last year's crash of a Lion Air jet that plunged into the Java Sea, killing 189 people. Both crashes involved the Boeing 737 Max 8, and both happened minutes after the jets became airborne.

The Ethiopian pilot sent out a distress call and was given clearance to return to the airport, the airline's CEO told reporters.

At the crash site, the impact caused the plane to shatter into small pieces. Personal belongings and aircraft parts were strewn across the freshly churned earth. Bulldozers dug into the crater to pull out buried pieces of the jet.

Red Cross teams and others searched for human remains. In one photo, teams could be seen loading black plastic bags into trucks.

As sunset approached, crews were still searching for the plane's flight-data recorder, the airline's chief operating officer said.

Worried families gathered at the flight's destination, the airport in Nairobi, the capital of neighboring Kenya.

The accident is likely to renew questions about the 737 Max, the newest version of Boeing's popular single-aisle airliner.

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