Ethopian passenger plane crashes into Mediterranean sea

14:18, January 25, 2010      

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Photo taken on Jan. 23, 2010 shows an Ethiopian Airlines plane at the airport in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia. An Ethiopian Airlines plane, with 92 people on board, fell into the Mediterranean sea shortly after taking off from Beirut Monday, the Al-Jazeera TV channel reported. (Xinhua/Wang Haiyan)

An Ethiopian Airlines plane, with 92 people on board, fell into the Mediterranean sea shortly after taking off from Beirut Monday.

The plane, said to be a Boeing 737, crashed into the sea minutes after it left the Beirut international airport around 2:10 a.m. local time (0010 GMT).

The ET409 flight, which was bound for Addis Ababa, carried 83 passengers and nine crew.

Some 50 passengers were Lebanese nationals, while most of the others were from Ethiopia, local media said.


A general view of Beirut international airport January 25, 2010. An Ethiopian Airlines plane with 92 passengers on board crashed into the Mediterranean sea shortly after taking off from Beirut international airport in the early hours of Monday, airport sources said. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Poor weather conditions may have contributed to the accident as the plane was flying in storms.

The wreckage could be seen from Lebanese shore by locals, according to media reports. A rescue team had rushed to the scene to find any possible survivors.

As Ethiopia's flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines now serves 56 international destinations. It operates 37 aircraft including five Boeing 737.


Trolleys are seen outside Beirut international airport January 25, 2010. An Ethiopian Airlines plane with 85 passengers on board crashed into the Mediterranean sea shortly after taking off from Beirut international airport in the early hours of Monday, airport sources said. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)


Source: Xinhua
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