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Rediff.com  » News » Pix: Ethiopian airliner crashes with 90 on board

Pix: Ethiopian airliner crashes with 90 on board

Last updated on: January 25, 2010 13:42 IST

Ethiopian airliner crashes into Mediterranean

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An Ethiopian airliner carrying 82 passengers and eight crewmembers crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after taking off from the Beirut International Airport on Monday morning, officials said.

"The flight lost contact with Lebanese air traffic controllers shortly after takeoff," the News York Times quoted Ethiopian Airlines spokeswoman Wogayehu Terefe, as saying.

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Image: Helicopters and United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and Lebanese army vessels search for survivors near the area where an Ethiopian plane crashed, as seen from Khaldeh, south of Beirut, on Monday.

Photograph: Jamal Saidi / Reuters

Text: ANI



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'Rescue team rushed to see if anyone had survived'

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She added that a rescue crew was headed to the crash site to see if anyone had survived.

According to the company's web site, the crashed plane -- Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 -- was a Boeing 737 that had been scheduled to take off at 2:10 am but it actually left at 2:35 am. The 1,730-mile flight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital city, was scheduled to take 4 hours and 40 minutes.

Image: Lebanese Red Cross ambulances leave Beirut international airport

Photograph: Jamal Saidi / Reuters



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The airliner crashed shortly after take off

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The airline said that out of the 90 people aboard the flight, 51 people were Lebanese nationals and 23 passengers were Ethiopian. Two British nationals were also listed as passengers, and the remaining six passengers were Turkish, French, Russian, Canadian, Syrian and Iraqi nationals. The eight crewmembers were Ethiopian.

According to reports, shortly after the plane took off from Beirut International Airport early on Monday morning, some residents on the coast saw a plane crashing on the ocean.

Image: Lebanese airport safety employees gather near the site where an Ethiopian plane crashed at Na'ameh village, south of Beirut, on Monday

Photograph: Ali Hashisho / Reuetrs



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Beirut airport is one of the safest in the world

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Flight safety records indicate that there has not been a crash involving Beirut International Airport since 1987.

The Boeing 737 is one of the most widely used planes in the world, and while it has a fine overall safety record, it has been involved in a few crashes in Europe and Africa in recent years.

Image: A general view of Beirut international airport

Photograph: Mohamed Azakir / Reuters



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