Search operations for crashed Ethiopian jet near Beirut to receive help from sub – By Bassem Mroue (CP)
BEIRUT — A Lebanese army official said Monday a vessel carrying a submarine is on its way to help in the search for an Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed last week south of Beirut. (more…)
BEIRUT — A Lebanese army official said Monday a vessel carrying a submarine is on its way to help in the search for an Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed last week south of Beirut.
The Boeing 737 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on Jan. 25 just minutes after takeoff from Beirut in a fierce thunderstorm. All 90 people on board were presumed dead and the plane’s black box and main body have not been found.
A U.S. Navy ship, the USS Ramage, has detected signals from the black box flight recorders at a depth of 4,265 feet (1,300 metres).
The army official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said he does not know when the vessels will arrive. Transportation Minister Ghazi Aridi has said the “submarine has left and should be here in the next few days.”
Lebanon’s government has formally asked the U.S.-based Odyssey Marine Explorations to send a submarine to help in retrieving the plane and the black box. Another ship for the company, Ocean Alert, has been scanning Lebanese waters since after the crash to try find the body of the plane and the black box.
The army official also said French investigators were working closely with the Lebanese navy. The wife of the France’s ambassador to Lebanon was aboard the plane and a service was held for her at a Beirut church Sunday.
Rescue teams have recovered some bodies and pieces of the plane, but hope for finding any survivors has faded. There are conflicting numbers of how many bodies have been found, although at least 14 have been pulled out of the waters.
Also Monday an Iraqi man who died on the plane was buried in a Shiite Muslim cemetery south of Beirut, an Iraqi diplomat said. The 55-year-old Akram Jasim Mohammed was buried next to his son and daughter who died in a car accident in Beirut last year, the diplomat said on condition of anonymity because he was not being authorized to speak to the media about the matter.