Ethiopian Airlines jetliner crashes after take-off

[PeterPaul.ca] — An Ethiopian Airlines jetliner destined for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has crashed shortly after take-off from Beirut International Airport, the airline confirmed Monday.

In a statement on its website, the airline said there were 82 passengers and 8 Ethiopian crew-members on board at the time of the incident.

The nationalities of those on board included 23 Ethiopians, 52 Lebanese, 1 Turkish, 1 French, 2 British, 1 Russian, 1 Syrian and 1 Iraqi, the airline said.

One Canadian was also on board.

“Ethiopian flight ET-409 scheduled to operate from Beirut to Addis Ababa on January 25th lost contact with the Lebanese air controllers shortly after take off. The flight departed at 02:35 Lebanese time from Beirut International Airport,” the statement said.

The flight was scheduled to depart Beirut at 2:10 a.m. local time for a 4 hour and 40 minute flight to Addis Ababa.

Ethiopian Airlines said that an investigative team was already en-route to Lebanon and that they would “release further information as further updates are received.”

The cause of the crash or location of wreckage was not known at press time.

The aircraft involved was a Boeing 737-800, the website FlightStats.com said. Ethiopian Airlines is an all-Boeing operator and was operating two 737-800’s at the time of the crash, Boeing Company said on its website.

On January 22, Ethiopian Airlines announced an order for 10 additional 737-800’s at a total cost of $767 million dollars. It was also the first African airliner to order the new 787 Dreamliner in 2005.

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