Up until 25 bodies found: Ethiopian airlines

09:20, January 26, 2010      

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While searching for survivors continues some 25 bodies have been recovered after an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed off the coast of Lebanon Monday, the Ethiopian airlines said in a statement.

A team of experts from Ethiopian has arrived in Beirut.

The Boeing 737-800, carrying 82 passengers and eight crew, crashed into the Mediterranean some four minutes after taking off from the Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport in the capital.

According to Ethiopian Airlines, Flight ET-409 was carrying 82 passengers and eight Ethiopian crew. Passengers included 23 Ethiopians, 51 Lebanese nationals, two British, one Turkish, one Frenchman, one Russian, one Canadian, one Syrian and an Iraqi national.

Army and naval rescue units were searching for survivors alongside a UN Maritime Task Force, it said.

Rescuers found 25 bodies of Lebanese and Ethiopians. Six of them are Ethiopians.

The Ethiopian team is closely working with all concerned offices to provide support to the family and friends of victims affected by the unfortunate accident.

A team of senior government officials led by Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin will be heading to the accident scene on Tuesday, according to a report filed by the Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency.

According to Ethiopian public relation office, the pilot has served for more than 20 years.

Government officials including Prime Minster Meles Zenawi have expressed their deep sorrow over the sudden accident.

Various organizations including Government Communication Affair and Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front expressed their condolences.

Launched its flight in 1948 to Cairo, the Ethiopian has 56 international destinations out of which 35 of them are in Africa.

The Ethiopian has received five prestigious awards since January 2009. It had also received Corporate Achievement Award 2008, it said.

Source: Xinhua
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