Ethiopian Airlines says all crash bodies recovered – Reuters

February 24th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

Ethiopian Airlines says all 90 bodies have been recovered from the aircraft that crashed off Lebanon last month, and insisted it was too early to say what caused the disaster. (more…)

Ethiopian Airlines says all 90 bodies have been recovered from the aircraft that crashed off Lebanon last month, and insisted it was too early to say what caused the disaster.

The Boeing 737-800 crashed minutes after taking off from Beirut en route to Addis Ababa in stormy weather on January 25.

“All bodies of the victims from the ET-409 accident have now been recovered and identified,” the airline said in a statement.

“Arrangements are being made to repatriate bodies of the Ethiopian and other nationals to their countries.”

A source familiar with the crash investigation said earlier this month that the team had concluded that pilot error was to blame. Lebanese media outlets echoed that report on Monday.

Ethiopian Airlines earlier this month said it still had not ruled out sabotage.

The airline said vital information and facts were still missing and any indication of the cause of the crash would be “speculative, incorrect and misleading”.

The Lebanese Army said the plane broke up in mid-air before plummeting into the sea. Witnesses described it as crashing in a ball of flames.

Lebanese, French and Ethiopian officials are in France analysing the flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

Lebanese officials say the pilot failed to respond to the control tower’s instruction to change direction, even though he acknowledged the request.

The plane made an unexpected sharp turn before disappearing off the radar, the Lebanese transport minister said at the time.

The eight-year-old plane, carrying mostly Lebanese and Ethiopian passengers, last had a maintenance check on December 25 and no technical problems were reported.

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