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Safety of Boeing 737 in question after 2nd crash in matter of months

By Jay Jackson, Jakarta News.Net
11 Mar 2019, 04:33 GMT+10

ADIS ABABA, Ethiopia - The crash on Sunday of a near new Boeing 737 Max is the second by a Boeing 737 Max in a matter of months. 

Just over four months ago, on 29 October 2018, Lion Air Flight JT 610 bound for the western city of Pangkal Pinang, crashed near Jakarta, Indonesia. 189 people were killed. The plane, a Boeing 737 Max had been in service for just two months, having been commissioned in August.

"A Boeing technical team will be traveling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopian Accident Investigations Bureau and the US National Transport Safety Board," a Boeing statement released on Sunday said.

There is no suggestion the two crashes are linked. Both are under investigation.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed meantime has expressed condolences to all those who died in Sunday's deadly plane crash in Bishofto.

The Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max plane, which was bound for Nairobi, in Kenya crashed shortly after taking off in Bishoftu on Saturday.  

157 people died in the crash, comprising 149 passengers and eight crew members.

"We hereby confirm that our scheduled flight ET 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi was involved in an accident today. It is believed that there were 149 passengers and eight crew on board the flight but we are currently confirming the details of the passenger manifest for the flight," a statement from Ethiopian Airlines said.

The Boeing 737, which was only a few months old, took off from Bole International Airport at 8:38 am Saturday. Flight control centres lost contact with the plane six minutes later at 8:44am.

Thirty two Kenyans, 18 Canadians, eight Americans, 2 Israelis and seven British nationals, and a large number of United Nations personnel are believed to be among the passengers.

"The (United Nations) Secretary-General was deeply saddened at the tragic loss of lives in the airplane crash today near Addis Ababa. He conveys his heartfelt sympathies and solidarity to the victims' families and loved ones, including those of United Nations staff members, as well as sincere condolences to the Government and people of Ethiopia," Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres said Sunday.

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