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Pattaya Daily News

29 January 2010 :: 12:01:52 pm 11295

US Send Salvage Vessel to Ethiopian Airlines Crash Site

The US Navy has announced that it has ordered one of its salvage vessels, the USNS Grapple, to attend the crash site of Ethiopian Airlines 409, which went down on Monday off the coast of Lebanon.
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Italy, the 29th of January 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Ethiopian Airlines flight 409 took off from the Beirut-Rafik Hariri International Airport headed for the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa early on Monday morning, amidst heavy rain and coastal thunderstorms. The airliner subsequently disappeared from Air traffic Control Radars approximately 3.5km off the coast of Beirut, crashing into the Mediterranean Sea. At present it is unknown what has caused this tragic accident, however; reports from coastal residents suggest that the airliner crashed into the sea whilst on fire.


Search teams have discovered the flights “black box” recorders and several parts of the plane have washed up on the beach or been salvaged from the sea. All 90 of the passengers and crew have been presumed dead in the crash although up to 50 people are still unaccounted for.

Reports emerged on Thursday that the “black box” recorders had been found on the seabed in approximately 1.3 kilometer deep waters. Search and Rescue efforts are being carried out at present by Lebanese Navy Troops, UN Interim Forces in Lebanon and the US Navy destroyer USS Ramage with the US pledging on Friday to sent one of their dedicated salvage vessels the USNS Grapple to aid in the operations.


The USNS Grapple, conducting naval training with the Tunisian Navy in Bizerte has been sent to the Ethiopian Airlines crash site upon request from the Lebanese Government and US State Department. The USNS Grapple is one of the US Navy’s four dedicated salvage ships and has the ability to send Navy Divers to the seabed to recover items and objects, tow stranded vessels and provide firefighting assistance.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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