Ethiopian Airlines confirms plane crash

14:27, January 25, 2010      

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Photo taken on April 29, 2007 shows an Ethiopian Airlines plane at the airport in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia. An Ethiopian Airlines plane, with at least 85 people on board, fell into the Mediterranean sea shortly after taking off from Beirut Monday, the Al-Jazeera TV channel reported.(Xinhua/Wang Ying)

An Ethiopian Airlines plane carrying 82 passengers and eight crew members fell into the Mediterranean sea shortly after taking off from Lebanon's capital Beirut early Monday, the airlines confirmed.

The Boeing 737-800 passenger plane crashed into the sea minutes after it left the Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut at 2:35 a.m. local time (0035 GMT), said the airlines' public relations service.

The ET409 flight, which was bound for the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, carried 82 passengers and eight crew.

A total of 51 passengers are Lebanese nationals, while 24 are from Ethiopia. The others are from Turkey and other countries, said a press release from the airlines' public relations service.

The press release did not tell the casualties of the plane crash. However, an Ethiopian Airlines official, who declined to be named, said all the 90 people on board feared dead in the plane crash.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese media reported that 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 the Lebanese 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.


Photo taken on April 29, 2007 shows Ethiopian Airlines planes at the airport in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia. An Ethiopian Airlines plane, with at least 85 people on board, fell into the Mediterranean sea shortly after taking off from Beirut Monday, the Al-Jazeera TV channel reported.(Xinhua/Wang Ying)

Source: Xinhua
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