Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

People search through scattered remains of Ethiopian Airlines plane

People search through scattered remains of Ethiopian Airlines plane

A man checks the wreckage of the airplane of Ethiopian Airlines (ET) which crashed earlier near Bishoftu city, about 45 kms southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 10, 2019.

At the Nairobi airport, hopes quickly dimmed for loved ones.

Indonesian investigators have not determined a cause for the October crash, but days after the accident Boeing sent a notice to airlines that faulty information from a sensor could cause the plane to automatically point the nose down.

A routine maintenance check didn't reveal any problems, he said.

Safety experts cautioned against drawing too many comparisons between the two crashes until more is known about Sunday's disaster.

"At this time search and rescue operations are in progress and we have no confirmed information about survivors or any possible causalities", Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement.

The Ethiopian plane was new, delivered to the airline in November.

North American airlines that operate the 737 MAX 8 said they were monitoring the investigation. The jet's last maintenance was on February 4, and it had flown just 1,200 hours.

The country's state media, Fana Broadcasting Corporate, was quoted by Agence France-Presse (AFP) as saying that the plane, which departed the Ethiopian capital at 8:38 am, crashed minutes after takeoff, "killing all the 149 passengers and eight crew aboard".

According to Swedish flight-tracking website flightradar24, the passenger jet "had unstable vertical speed" before it crashed.

"Ethiopian is Africa's biggest airline and recently the airport in Addis Ababa overtook Dubai as the leading gateway to sub-Saharan Africa", NPR's Eyder Peralta reports.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted confirming deaths but did not give a number.

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