fbpx

No bodies found in wreckage of Ethiopian Airlines crash

Uganda Police Force commissioner Commissioner Christine Alalo, who was working with the African Mission in Somalia (Amisom) as the Acting Police Commissioner, was the lone Uganda victim of the crash.

ADDIS ABABA | No bodies were recovered from the wreckage of the doomed Ethiopian Airline’s Boeing plane, it today emerged.

Investigators at the crash site have scoured through debris of the Boeing 737 Max 8 since Sunday’s tragedy. But Ethiopian Airlines confirmed only tiny remains of the plane have been found intact.

“There were no bodies,” a spokesman for the airline said.

Sendo Cleaners

Sunday’s crash after take-off from Addis Ababa killed 157 people from 35 nations in the second such calamity involving Boeing’s flagship new model in six months.

Uganda Police Force commissioner Commissioner Christine Alalo, who was working with the African Mission in Somalia (Amisom) as the Acting Police Commissioner, was the lone Uganda victim of the crash.

The officer was returning from Italy to Mogadishu, Somalia.

Possible links between the accidents have rocked the aviation industry, scared passengers worldwide, and left the world’s biggest plane maker scrambling to prove the safety of a money-spinning model intended to be the standard for decades.

Relatives of the dead stormed out of a meeting with Ethiopian Airlines on Thursday, decrying a lack of transparency, while others made the painful trip to the crash scene, Reuters reporter.

“I can’t find you! Where are you?” said one Ethiopian woman, draped in traditional white mourning shawl, as she held a framed portrait of her brother in the charred and debris-strewn field.

Relatives are desperate to know what happened and to receive fragments if not corpses, given the fire and destruction at the site. They were at least able to vent their grief.

“We saw where he died and touched the earth,” said Sultan Al-Mutairi, who came from Riyadh to say goodbye to his brother Saad, who ran a recruitment agency in Kenya.

A witness says the plane, flying from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to Nairobi, Kenya, was “swerving and dipping” and spewing smoke “from the back” as it crashed just minutes after take-off on Sunday morning.

Gebeyehu Fikadu, 25, told CNN he was collecting firewood on a mountain with three other people when he watched the plane go down.

He said: “I was in the mountain nearby when I saw the plane reach the mountain before turning around with a lot of smoke coming from the back and then crashed at this site.

“It crashed with a large boom. When it crashed luggage and clothes came burning down.

“Before it crashed the plane was swerving and dipping with a lot of smoke coming from the back and also making a very loud unpleasant sound before hitting the ground.”

France takes black boxes

The black boxes, which record data, were found at the crash site in Bishoftu, Ethiopia and will be analysed in Paris, France.

After an apparent tussle over where the investigation should be held, the flight data and cockpit voice recorders arrived in Paris. France’s Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) agency said it would receive them later in the day.

The investigation has added urgency since the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday grounded the 737 MAX aircraft citing satellite data and evidence from the scene indicating some similarities and “the possibility of a shared cause” with October’s crash in Indonesia that killed 189 people.

A BEA spokesman said he did not know what condition the black boxes were in. “First we will try to read the data,” the spokesman said, adding that the first analyses could take between half a day and several days.

Under international rules, the Ethiopians are leading the investigation but France’s BEA will conduct black box analysis as an advisor. The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will also have an influential role as representatives of the country where the Boeing plane was made.

The choice of the BEA followed what experts say appears to have been a tug-of-war between national agencies, with Germany initially invited to do the analysis.

Ethiopian Airlines criticised a French-backed investigation into a crash in Lebanon in 2010, when an Ethiopian plane crashed into the sea after take-off. It said the investigation was biased against the pilots, who were blamed for the crash.

There is a small pool of countries including Britain, France, US, Canada and Australia that are seen as leading investigators. But only France and the United States have the experience gleaned from being present at almost every crash involving an Airbus or Boeing respectively.

Since the Indonesia crash, there has been attention on an automated anti-stall system in the MAX model that dips the plane’s nose down.

The pilot of Flight 302 had reported internal control problems and received permission to return, before the plane came down and burst into a fireball on arid farmland.

Multiple nations, including all in the European Union, have suspended the 737 MAX, grounding about two-thirds of the 371 jets of that make in operation around the world.

Agencies

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

5 + nine =