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Pattaya Daily News

12 February 2010 :: 16:02:29 pm 13134

Controversy Surrounds the Crash of Ethiopian Flight 409

Investigators involved with uncovering the cause of Ethiopian Flight 409’s devastating crash are closer to discovering the truth, after the successful recovery of the cockpit voice recorder was announced on Thursday.
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Beirut, the 11th of February 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Ethiopian Flight 409 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after takeoff from Beirut on the 25th of January. All 90 passengers and crew are believed to have perished in the tragedy, which happened during a severe thunderstorm.


Shortly after the airliner went down, Lebanese officials assured the public that the incident was not an act of sabotage or terrorism, although the basis for this statement is unknown. Various media outlets have however reported that the accident was due to pilot error, which once again is yet to be confirmed by the French investigators or based on any conclusive evidence.

Lebanese Transportation Minister Ghazi Aridi has stated that: “From the technical side, all the plane’s systems were functioning properly until the moment of the crash. An explosion is ruled out.” This statement was allegedly based on the analysis of the ‘black box’ flight recorder which were recovered and sent to France earlier this week. However, once again nothing of this nature has been confirmed by the French investigators.

On the night of the incident, witnesses reported seeing a fire ball crash into the sea in the approximate location of the downed airliner. Following this, Ethiopian Airline officials released a press statement on Thursday, claiming that it was too early to come to any conclusions on the crash. Further stating; that the airliner was not willing to rule out an act of sabotage or terrorism until the reports from French investigators are announced. The airlines official representative also revealed that the reports stating the accident was a result of pilot error are merely speculative and have not been confirmed. At present the ‘black boxes’ are now being analysed by the BEA, a French agency that specialises in assisting with technical investigations on airline crashes.  

Fortunately, the missing cockpit voice recorder was recovered on Wednesday and has been sent to the French Investigators for analysis. Although, once again the investigations have been stalled as an integral part to the voice recorder still appears to be missing. Salvage teams are working tirelessly to try and locate the missing part so that the investigators can continue with their analysis.

Significantly adding to the confusion, the flight also took-off in a severe thunderstorm, making a “fast and strange turn,” in the opposite direction to instructions given by the Air Traffic Controllers. Meteorological experts have released survey’s depicting a lightning strike in the path of the airliner at the time the incident occurred.  

Salvage crews are still working off the coast of Beirut to locate the main fuselage of the airliner which is believed to contain the rest of the deceased from the flight. So far it is alleged that a mere 23 of the 90 passengers and crew have been pulled from the sea. Many body parts have also been discovered, suggesting once again that there may have been an explosion.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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